DOVER KENT ARCHIVES

Page Updated:- Thursday, 21 July, 2022.

PUB LIST PUBLIC HOUSES Paul Skelton

Earliest 1840+

(Name from)

Valiant Sailor

Open 2020+

New Dover Road

Capel-Le-Ferne

Folkestone really.

01303 621737

http://www.thevaliantsailoruk.com/index

https://whatpub.com/valiant-sailor

Valiant Sailor

Picture above by kind permission Valiant Sailor. Circa 1880.

Valiant Sailor 1977

Above photographs kindly supplied by Jan Pedersen, 1977 showing the lorry crashed into the then front porch of the pub which was taken very shortly after the accident had happened.

Valiant Sailor 1976

Crashed lorry 1977.

Valiant Sailor 1976

Crashed Lorry 1977.

Valiant Sailor 1978

Above photograph kindly supplied by Jan Pedersen, 1978.

Valiant Sailor Capel

Above photo by Paul Skelton 15 Sept 2007.

Valiant Sailor

Above photo by Paul Skelton 15 Sept 2007.

Valiant Sailor Nov 2011

Photo kindly supplied by the "Valiant Sailor" Nov 2011.

Valiant Sailor Pool area Nov 2011

Above showing the pool area, Nov 2011.

Valiant Sailor Restaurant Nov 2011

Above showing the restaurant area Nov 2011.

Valiant Sailor Bar Nov 2011

Above photo showing the main bar Nov 2011.

 

Originally called the "Jolly Sailor" this pub changed name some time after 1840.

The Valiant Sailor is actually listed as being Folkestone, yet it is so close to Capel-le-Ferne that I am going to list it as from that village. Misleadingly, it was addressed as Hawkinge, Folkestone in the Post Office Directory of 1913. Post Office Directory 1913

It is situated right at the top of Dover Hill, New Dover Road and Crete Road East.

Alfred Charles Aird had owned the Valiant Sailor public house and most of the land between Capel and Sugar Loaf Hill on which he farmed. He also owned and ran, with the aid of his wife, the Highcliffe Tea Gardens just behind the pub where they served home made scones and ice-cream and cream teas. The cliff path from East-Cliff was very popular with walkers from the Warren and the rival establishment, Little Switzerland at the foot of the cliff path.

Alfred Aird also owned a dairy farm at Martello and supplied Miss de la Mare (head of St. Margaret's School, Folkestone) in the early 1920s. His son Bill remembered riding on top of a hay wagon on the spot which is now the entrance to the Channel Tunnel.

Although the Highcliffe Tea Gardens are no longer there, they were once enclosed by a Hazel fence and contained three thatched summer houses along with the tables and chairs amongst a series of rustic arbours.

 

From http://www.penney-nicholass-ancestry.co.nz/kitham_family.html

Richard Kitham married Eleanor Kingsmill on 2 August 1841 at Alkham:

Richard Kitham, bachelor, groom of this parish son of Thomas Kitham, labourer to Eleanor Kingsmill, spinster of this parish, daughter of John Kingsmill, farmer.

Wits: Susanna Finch, Marjery Kitham, Simon Horton Smith.

 

In the 1841 census of Church Alkham both Richard Kitham (25) and Elinor Kingsmill (25) were listed as servants at the Rectory for William Slater, Lay Impropriator aged 60.

 

In 1845 Richard with Eleanor and their young family moved to Folkestone Hill, Capel-le-Ferne. Richard was Licensed Victualler at the "Valiant Sailor".

In 1871 Richard was still Victualler at the "Valiant Sailor" but was also a farmer of 40 acres.

 

An historic event that occurred in the summer of 1856 was the murder of 2 sisters Caroline and Maria Back by a soldier of the Swiss Foreign Legion, Dedea Redanies who was stationed at Dover.

Caroline was reported to have spurned the advances of the soldier.

Thomas Gurling reported the incident to Richard Kitham and Richard found the bodies at Steddy Hole behind the "Valiant Sailor."

Dedea Redanies was hanged in Maidstone on New Years Day 1857.

The ballad of "Switzerland John" describes the whole sorry story.

 

Richard Kitham died in 1878 and was buried at Capel-le-Ferne. His wife Eleanor who died in 1892 was buried with him.

 

In Loving memory of RICHARD KITHAM died May 24 1878 aged 66 years. Also ELEANOR wife of the above died January 10 1892 aged 80 years. I know that my Redeemer liveth.

 

The widowed Eleanor continued to live in Folkestone and in both 1881 and 1891 census her unmarried son, Richard, an agricultural labourer/groom, and her unmarried sister-in-law, Ann Kitham were living with her.

 

From the Maidstone Journal and Kentish Advertiser, 23 December 1856.

The double murder near Folkestone.

Dedea Redaines, age 36, was then placed at the bar, charged with wilful murder of Maria Back, in the parish of Capel le Ferne, near Folkestone, on Sunday, 3rd of August last.

The prisoner, who was a tired in the prison dress, is the young man something under the average height. His complexion is fair, and he wears a somewhat bushy beard and moustache. His features a small, his nose reduced, and the expression of his face rather pleasing than otherwise.

Mr. Denman said Mr. Papillon appeared for the prosecution, and Mr. F. Barrow for the defence.

The judged after prisoner, through the interpreter, whether he persisted in his plea of "Guilty," with respect to the murder of Caroline Back, upon which he answered, "Yes," in a firm clear voice. The trial then proceeded.

Mr. Denman open the case. He said:- The prisoner, a Serbian by birth, in August last, was a soldier in the British Swiss Legion, stationed at Shorncliffe, in the service of Her Majesty. On the indictment in which he is charged, for the wilful murder of Maria Back, I think I should at once introduced to your notice (because a mention of the fact will come plainfully to your notice in the course of the case) there is another charge against him for the wilful murder of Caroline Back. It appeared that on the 2nd of August last the prisoner was at the house of John Back, at Dover. John Back was the father of Caroline and Maria Back, and is the husband of Mary Back, who had been in the habit of washing the clothes of some of the officers in the British Swiss Legion, and prisoner had been in the habit of bringing some of these articles to her to wash, walking from Folkestone to Dover, a distance of about eight or nine miles. In the course of his visits a intimacy sprung up between him and Caroline Back, and on the evening of Saturday, August 2nd, prisoner was at John Back's house, and then wanted Caroline Back to accompany him to the camp at Shorncliffe to see his sister. However, Mrs. Back made some objections, and said she would not let Caroline go unless Maria accompanied her. Maria Back was a girl of about 16 years of age; Caroline being about 18 years old. It was afterwards arranged that both the girls should go together. Redains remained at the house for some time, and very early next morning, indeed soon after 2 o'clock, he returned, and having breakfast with the two young women, shortly after 3 o'clock they all started in the direction of Folkestone. Among other articles which are two young women more, each of them had on a black visite.

They all started off, apparently, on good terms together, and on the road to Folkestone, just about 5 o'clock, a witness named Marsh saw them all three walking on the Folkestone Road, in the direction of Folkestone, and they then appeared to be on good terms together, prisoner having one of each of the young women's arms in his. Prisoner spoke to the witness, who, therefore, had a good opportunity of observing him, and was also enabled to know what time it was.

About seven an alarm of murder was raised by a man named Gurling; but, before I call Girling, it would be better to state at once that I don't go into any details of his evidence, as I have reason to doubt whether his evidence will be received on this enquiry, as Girling stated before the magistrates, and is likely to state again, that he has such a belief about things temporal and eternal that would render his evidence inadmissible in a court of justice. It will appear, however, that a man named Kitham, on the alarm being raised by Gurling, went to a place called Steady Hole, a sort of hollow not very far from Dover, and about a mile from the place where prisoner and the girls were seen; and a short distance from the road, quite removed from the observation of anyone passing along, he saw the dead bodies of the two young girls. They were taken immediately to a neighbouring house, where, about 10 o'clock, they were examined by a surgeon named Bateman.

In the course of the afternoon, Mrs. Back was brought to this place, and she identified the two dead bodies as those for her daughters. The bodies were found at some little distance from one another, and marks and violence were found on each. On the body of Caroline two deadly wounds were found, and, on the body of Maria, the girl prisoner is charged with murdering, were four deadly wounds. The surgeon, of course, had no doubt, as he will tell you, of the cause of their deaths. When the discovery of the bodies was known, a hue and cry was immediately raised, the police were set in motion, and every effort was it once used for the purpose of discovering by whom the foul deed been perpetrated. It was not, however, until the following Monday, August 4th, although the prisoner was, of course, strongly suspected, that anything occurred to show that he was the murderer. About nine on the morning of that day it was discovered that prisoner have been last seen at a place called Lower Hardres, three miles from Canterbury, and about 20 miles from where the bodies had been found. At this place, it appeared, prisoner went into the shop of a Mrs. Attwood, and asked for some paper, with which he was served. He then wrote two letters one directed to Miss Caroline Back, 5, Albion Place, Dover, and the other to Lieutenant Schmidt, the officer of the company in which deceased served. These were posted in the same village, about 9:30 or 10, and on the same day Superintendent Walker, armed with the authority of the magistrates, went to the post office in the village and obtained the letters. At that time the police were very active in the search, and the result was the discovery of the prisoner. He was seen about 4 o'clock on that day about a mile from Canterbury by a Constable of the name Fryer, who had some labourers with him, and the result was the prisoner was surrounded and taken into custody; but, before this was accomplished, the prisoner was seen to stab himself in the breast with a dagger which he held in his hand, and he inflicted such wounds upon himself that for some time he was confined to an hospital. The dagger, the surgeon will say, was calculated to produce such wounds as were found on the person of Maria Back. It will also be proved that the prisoner brought the dagger from a cutler in Dover named Green, on the night of Saturday, August 2nd. When seen walking along the road with the girls he had on his regimental coat, and when apprehended by the constable he had over his shoulder one of the black visites the girls had worn, and round his waist was the other. I must now direct your attention to the contents of the letters, because they are most important evidence if he makes any admission on that subject, and are also important evidence to show the motive for his dreadful crime.

A question then arose as to the accuracy of the translation of the letters, and Mr. Barrow stated that, in the translation supplied to him, he had found some words which would be a different meaning to those in Mr. Denmans translation. If Mr. Denman intended to adopt the translation used before the magistrates, he should be obliged to call evidence to show that that version was not correct.

Mr. Denman said Mr. Barrow might use both translations. He then continued his opening statement, and read the first of the letters, address to Mrs. Back. It is as follows:-

Dearest Mother Back:- On the first lines, I pray to forgive me the awful accident to the unlucky Dedia Redains which I committed upon my very dear Caroline and Maria Back, yesterday morning, at 5 o'clock. Scarcely I am able to write my heartbreak for my ever memorial Caroline and Mary Ann. The cause of my deed is 1. As I heard that Caroline is not in the family-way, as I first believed. 2. Because Caroline intends to go to Woolwich. 3. Because I cannot stay with my very dear Caroline, it made my heart so scattered that I put into my mind at last that Caroline rather may die from my hands than allow Caroline's love being bestowed upon others. However, I did not intend to murder also Mary Ann, her sister, but not having other opportunity, and as she was in my way, I could not do otherwise. - I must stab her too. Dear Mother Back, Saturday evening when I came, I had not at least any intention to commit this awful act, but as I learnt that my dear Caroline gave me back my likeness; and, as she told me she would leave. I did not know any other way in my heartbreak than that leading to the cutlers where I brought a poniard, which divided the hearty lovers. Arm by arm I brought both my dearest souls in the world over to the unlucky place near the road before Folkestone, and requested them to sit down, but, the grass being wet, they refused to do so, and I directed, then, Caroline to go forward, and I went behind Mary Ann, into his heart I ran the dagger. With a dull cry cry she dropped down. With a most broken heart I rushed then after Caroline, lifting the poniard in my hand towards her. "Dear, Dedia," crird she, with half dead voice, and fell down with weeping eyes. Then I then rushed over her and gave her the last kiss as an everlasting remembrance. I could not live a more dreadful hour in my life than that was, and my broken heart could not tell where my senses were gone, and I took both the black shawls of Mary Ann and my dear Caroline as a morning suit for me, leaving the awful spot, with weeping eyes and a broken heart. Never shall I forget my dear Caroline and Mary Ann, and the poniard will be covered with the blood of Mary Ann and Caroline with me until it be put in my own breast, and I shall see again my dear Mary Ann and Caroline in the eternal life. Farewell, and be careless about blissfully deceased angles of God, and forgive the unhappy, ever weeping. "Dedia Redanies" August 3rd 1856.

Mr. Denman said one of the most important features of the letter was that it gave a detailed account of the crime, which exactly agreed with the appearances presented by the body's when found, and also that it gave motives for the commission of the deed. There was, however, a prisoner named Horton whose evidence was of some importance; but, from the fact of his being under sentence, his evidence would probably be looked upon with a degree of doubt. He would say that Redaines made a circumstantial confession to him, and in the course of it stated that one of the reasons that had induced him to commit the crime was that Caroline Back was going to keep company with an artilleryman at Woolwich, and that he stated that he would rather she died by his hand. This helped to clear up the passage in the letter, if it required any explanation. In the case of Mary Back the letter showed an extraordinary amount of coolness and determination on the part of the prisoner. He went behind her, according to his own account, and suddenly put an end to her existence. He says he intended also to end his own existence with the dagger, but for a man in the situation of the prisoner to endeavour to commit suicide while the offices of Justice were upon him was a very different thing to attempting is life without any such an inducement. In the other letter enclosed a duplicate of a watch to Lieutenant Schmidt, and also entreats pardon "for the unhappy Dedia." He thought he had said all that was necessary to be said in necessary to be said in opening the case, and his Lordship with that careful consideration which all Judges of the land ever exhibited towards unfortunate individuals in the prisoners position, had entrusted his cause to his learned friend Mr. Barrow, with his ability he (Mr. Denman) had had long experiences, and he felt grateful to his Lordship for so doing. If any cause could be shown to induce the jury to return of verdict of not guilty, he was quite sure it would be forcibly urged by Mr. Barrow. His lordship then would clearly explain difficult points that might arise on one side or the other, and it would then be for the jury to say whether the prisoner, Dedia Redaines, was guilty or not guilty of the crime of marine Maria Back.

The learned counsel then called the following witnesses:-

John Back, a respectable looking middle aged man, said:- I live at No 5, Albion Place, Dover. On the 3rd of August last I had two daughters, Caroline and Maria. I last saw them about 3:30 o'clock in the morning, when they left with Dedia Redaines. He was a soldier in the Swiss Legion. The Prisoner was dressed in his uniform. My daughter's had light frocks, white stockings, and black cloaks. The visites now produced were theirs. We had been acquainted with Redaines about a year. He used to bring the soldiers' washing down to our house. He was always very quiet, and used to make the bills out for my wife. He came to our house over night, and left at 9:30. I don't know where he slept that night; but it came back to my house about half-past three o'clock. They seemed on very good terms that morning before they started.

Cross-examined:- He had been paying his addresses, for seven or eight months, to my daughter Caroline, and was very much attached to her. He was received as her accepted lover. I was with them the whole time on Saturday night, and he made no requests to my daughters. He was paying his addresses to Caroline, and he was fond of Maria as as of a girl he expected to be his sister. He was always very kind and quiet.

Re-examined:- Never heard him express himself dissatisfied with Caroline for having been with someone else.

Mrs. Back (who seemed much distressed, and wept) said:- I recollect the 2nd of August, and remember Redaines came to our house about 7:30 o'clock. He spoke of talking taking Caroline to Shorncliffe to see his sister, who, he said, had come from Aldershot. I told him Caroline was very poorly, and not able to walk. I told him that I taken her to the doctor, who said she must have all the rest she could, and I did not like her to walk. I wanted her to stay till the train, but he said a little walk before sunshine would do her good. He said it was not on account of the expense, for his sister had given him £100, and he had plenty of money. I did not like Caroline to go by herself, and it was agreed that Maria should go with them. On Sunday about 12 o'clock, I was sent for to Mr. Burville's cottage, about four and a half miles from Dover, and I there saw the dead bodies of my daughters. Caroline was 19, and Maria 17 years of age. On the Saturday evening Caroline gave him his portrait back, and he broke it and threw it into the fire. I did not see why he did that.

Cross-examined:- When he took the portrait, he said it was too small - he would have a larger one to hang over the mantle.

George Marsh, a labourer, living at Hougham said:- On the Sunday morning I was sitting on the bank at 5 o'clock, about 5 miles from Dover, lacing up my boots. While I sat there I saw a soldier and two women pas me. He had on a red jacket and cap, and the young woman had light dresses. They were walking one holding one of his arms and the other the other arm. They seemed quite friendly, and were talking and laughing. As they passed the soldier asked what it was o'clock. I afterwards went to Burville's cottage, which is on the right hand side, a little from the road, and there saw the bodies of the two women dead. It is about a mile from where they passed me.

Thomas Gurling, the next witness called, and who it appeared first found the dead bodies of the girls, refused to be sworn, and said he could not take the oath except as a civil ceremony.

The Judge:- Do you believe in a state of future rewards and punishments.

Witness:- I do not believe.

Gurling was then dismissed; the Court evidently feeling relieved when he disappeared.

Richard Kitham said:- I am landlord of the "Valiant Sailor," I went with Gurling to a place called Steady Hole, and saw the bodies of two young women. There is a short footpath which cuts off a little curve in the road. I assisted in removing them to Burville's Cottage.

Cross examined:- On approaching the spot I saw the oldest girl first. It was lying nearest to Folkestone. The grass did not appear to be disturbed or trodden down. Mr. William Bateman, surgeon, Folkestone, was sent for to Burville's cottage to examine the bodies of two girls who had been found murdered. I first examine the younger. I found four punctured wounds deeply penetrating the chest, two on each side of the sternum or breast bone, and penetrating between the cartilages of the second and fourth ribs. The wounds appeared to have been produced by a poniard. The knife produced might have caused the wound. [The instrument was a clasp-knife, with a spring, to prevent the blade, which is about 4 inches long, from closing.] Death must have been instantaneous. Some parts of the body were still warm. The wounds on both bodies were the same character, except that, on Caroline, one wound had more of a lacerated character, as if there been some resistance.

Elizabeth Atwood:- I keep a grocery shop at Lower Hardres, and remember, on Monday, the 4th of August, a man coming to my shop. The prisoner is very much altered if he is the man. He was a foreigner, and had two capes on - one over his shoulder and one round his middle. He asked if I sold writing paper, envelopes, and pens. He paid for some, and then asked to sit down and write a letter. The purse produced is exactly like the one he pulled out to pay for the things.

The paper he had was bill-paper, ruled with blue and red lines. I had no note-paper. He sat down, and I saw him write in a foreign language. The letter produced is the same. He put something like a duplicate in one of the letters. He went away towards the post office. It was about half-past ten o'clock.

Cross-examined:- He was in my shop for an hour and a half, I had plenty of opportunity of examining him. There was only one counter between us.

Re-examined:- I could not swear that the prisoner at the bar is the man examined before the magistrates. He then looked very ill, and had no whiskers.

Mrs. Barwood said a foreign soldier came to her shop and brought two postage stamps, which he put upon two letters, and put them in the box. Mr. Walker came the same day, and stopped the letters.

William Walker, superintendent constable of the Home division of the county, said:- I went to last witness on the 4th of August, who gave me the two letters produced. I took them to the persons to whom they were addressed. In one of them was a duplicate.

Mrs. Back (recalled) identified the letters as in prisoners handwriting. She had often seen him make a bills for her.

Cross-examining:- The bills then made out were in the German character, which I did not know, but I have seen him right English characters.

Dr. Ross, of Canterbury, and linguist, said:- The letter handed to me is in the German language. I made a literal translation of the one addressed to Lieutenant Smith, and that of the letter addressed to Mrs. Back I corrected. The witness then read the letter (already given in Mr. Deadman's speech), translating it as he proceeded.

Cross-examined:- The word "occurrence," in another translation is translated "accident," but that is not accurate. In the same translation, the words "which I perpetrated" is "what happened," but that is wrong. There is the German for "I," but the word "perpetrated" is, in the original, the past participle, and not the perfect tense. John Green, a Cutler at Dover, said:- The knife produce looks like one I sold to the prisoner at the bar sometime ago. My name is upon it. It was on Saturday evening, about 6 o'clock, on the 2nd of August, that I sold the knife to the prisoner.

George Hilton, of 21, King Street, Canterbury:- Was a prisoner in St. Augustine's gaol from April to October last. I remember Redaines coming to the gaol, and soon after he came I was placed in attendance upon him, and continued to do so till October last. He often talked to me, in a kind of broken English, of the crime which brought in there. He told me that he first met Caroline and Maria after he had been to the theatre. He had one evening when he was sitting in the house with Caroline he saw an artilleryman come down-stairs. He asked who it was, and Caroline said it was a friend.

They did not have words about that circumstance, but he went to Aldershot, and while there he had written several letters to Caroline, but when he came back he asked to see those letters. She brought them, and he saw one among them which he knew was not his writing. He took it, and he found it said, "My dear Caroline - I shall soon have the pleasure of seeing you at Woolwich." Caroline took it from him and burnt it. They continued very good friends afterwards; and on the Saturday before the murder, when he went in Caroline said, "Dedea here is your portrait." "What do you give it me for?" said he. She said, "I am going to Woolwich." He said to himself, "You no go to Woolwich," and he took his hat and went down the street, and brought the knife.

Cross-examined:- Might have talked to Redaines every day, more or less. Two other prisoners, placed with me in care of him, were present. Did not know that anyone else was ever present; and on several occasions had conversations - perhaps ten times - when nobody was by; perhaps thirty or forty times when they were by. I told the governor and the chaplain what he had said. I never gave him the smallest caution that what he said would be repeated against him. Every time I saw that chaplain to speak to I told him. The chaplain does not see every prisoner everyday. The governor does. I only told the governor once; and the reason I told the chaplain was because he frequently asked me how Redaines was getting on. He always told me Caroline gave his portrait back of her own accord. He said that, after she came back from buying the knife, he asked them to go to Folkestone, and when they objected that they had no parasols, he gave them money to purchase some. He told me that he slept in the house at Saturday night.

Re-examined:- I did not question him, but he told me this of his own accord. I never asked him one single question.

George Fryer said:- I am a Constable living at Thannington near Canterbury. I saw the prisoner on the Monday afternoon near Milton Chapel, a mile and a half from Canterbury. Folkestone is about 20 miles off. When I saw him I went over to collar him. I saw him take his hand from his breast and throw a knife down on the ground. This is a knife I produced to-day. I then seized him. He had on a female's cape like a mackintosh, and he wore another like a waistcoat, with his arms through the holes. He had no coat on; and in his pockets was a purse with 3s. 6d. in it. In consequence of the wounds he had given himself, he was taken to the hospital. Superintendent Clement took prisoner to the hospital, and took the capes produced to-day from the prisoner.

Mr. F. Barrow then rose to address the jury for the prisoner. If it's learned friend in the last case had to ask for their indulgence, how much more had he reason to do the same. His learned friend had had the advantage of receiving his instructions through the ordinary channels; he had the advantage of having the case sifted with all the intelligence and acuteness which could be brought to bear upon it. In the present instance the learned judge, actuated by the sense of humanity which always adorns the bench, seeing that the prisoner had no friends, he requested him (Mr. Barrow) to undertake the defence. It was now, therefore, his duty to make such observations as occurred to him as likely to be of service to the prisoner, without, however, having even the advantage of communicating with the prisoner in his own language - and he was not sure the prisoner would endorse the defence he was about to set up. He could not, indeed, occasion the fact that, with respect to the charge of murdering the sister Caroline, the prisoner have pleaded guilty, and persisted in that plea, notwithstanding the advice of the judge that he should withdraw it. Under these circumstances, then, what was the duty he had to perform? It seemed to him that there was one topic, and one only, on which he could addressed them; and it was to urge a defence similar to that which had been presented to them in the last case - namely, that he was in such a state of mind which prevented him from being able to judge of the nature and quality of the act. He, therefore, submitted to them that the prisoner was not at the time the offence was committed in a state of mind as to be responsible for his own acts. The learned council then proceeded to quote several high authorities on the subject of sanity, dwelling particularly upon the words of one of the most eminent writers upon medical jurisdiction of the present day, which describe the state of partial insanity called homicidal monomania, and which the person labouring under it was so possessed with an irresistible and perhaps sudden impulse to destroy those to whom he was most tenderly attached, or any other person involved in the subject of his own individual delusions. The learned counsel then dwelt upon the apparent language of the letters read, and the poor wretch wandering about dressed frantically in the garb of his victims, as sufficient, taken with his previous intense love for one of the deceased, and the absence of all previous quarrel with her, to bring his case within the definition of homicidal monomania.

It was generally admitted that the address of the learned counsel was (under the circumstances, and considering the irresistible nature of the case he had to struggle with) as able and ingenious as it was eloquent and feeling.

The Learned Judge, in summing up, said the prisoner having pleaded guilty to the murder of one girl, and not guilty to the murder of the other, while the circumstances appeared exactly the same, he had thought it right to try the prisoner upon his plea of not guilty, in order that they might see if there were any circumstances in the case which offered such an explanation of his conduct as could absolve him in any degree from its consequences. He complimented the learned counsel (Mr. Barrow) on the admirable manner in which he had discharged the duty devolving upon him. The Judge then went through the evidence, dwelling on the points which had been adduced in support of the defence, and, after once more laying down the law on the subject of insanity, left it to the jury to say whether or not there were sufficient grounds for believing that the prisoner did not know the nature and quality of the crime he had committed.

The Jury was scarcely two minutes in consultation before the verdict they returned a verdict of "Wilful Murder."

The prisoner was then asked, through the interpreter, whether he had anything to say why sentence of death should not be passed, and answering in the negative.

His Lordship assumed the black cap, and addressing him as follows:- Prisoner at the bar, the jury have found you guilty of the murder of this young woman, Maria Back, and I have no doubt that they have properly found you guilty. Your offence is not as hateful as though it had proceeded from the motive of obtaining the property of another, or of revenge, or any other motive hateful or detestable in itself; but you have allowed an ill-regulated passion to get the mastery over you, and your conduct is, in reality, as selfish and as wicked as it it proceeded from any of the motives I have mentioned.

Although, therefore, one may pity you more, it is necessary to make an example as much in this as in any other case of murder. I have only to pass a sentence of the law on you, after warning you that most assuredly it will be carried into execution, that you may prepare yourself for the fate you must shortly undergo. The sentence of the Court on you for the crime of wilful murder is that you be taken hence to the prison from whence you came, from thence to a place of execution, and there be hanged by the neck till you are dead, and your body buried within the princess of the gaol, according to the statute in the case made and provided.

The sentence was interrupted clause by clause to the prisoner, who seemed quite unmoved, and, at its conclusion, he walked cooley from the dock.

The business of the assizes then concluded at half-past five o'clock.

 

From http://www.britishlocalhistory.co.uk

1 JANUARY 1857

In front of a large crowd, Dedea Redanies (26) was executed on top of the porter's lodge at Maidstone Gaol. He appeared little concerned, approaching the scaffold with ‘a cheerful step'. Once there, he called out: ‘In a few moments I shall be in the arms of my dear Caroline. I care not for death.'

Redanies had murdered 21-year-old Caroline Back along with her younger sister, Maria, one Sunday morning in August. Perhaps she was having doubts about marrying the Serb mercenary, now a member of the British-Swiss Legion, enlisted to fight alongside the British against the Russians in the Crimea.

Recently, Redanies had had doubts about her faithfulness and had become obsessively jealous. And so, on the day before he committed his double murder, he bought himself a knife with a 4-inch blade.

It was arranged that on this August Sunday the soldier and the two girls would set off before dawn to walk the 10 miles from the Backs' house in Albion Place, Dover, along the cliff-top path to Folkestone. When at about seven o'clock they passed the "Royal Oak", east of Capel-le-Ferne, the ostler thought they seemed very happy. But the bodies of Caroline and Maria were discovered only two hours later at Steddy Hole, a desolate spot, today called The Warren. They were both dead from deep stab wounds to the chest.

But where was Redanies? The next day he was first spotted at Barham Down. Later he called at a shop in Lower Hardres where he bought writing paper and wrote two letters. In the afternoon, a policeman approached him near Milton Chapel, outside Canterbury. The soldier took out a knife and stabbed himself.

Redanies recovered slowly in St Augustine's Gaol in Canterbury. He wrote letters to the Back family, expressing his sorrow, and these suggest that he was insane. Nevertheless, he was sentenced to hang. He said that he looked forward to being reunited with Caroline and her sister.

Another letter to the Backs, to be opened after his death, read: ‘We are above with our Father again... I greet you with my dear Caroline and Maria... It was signed: ‘Caroline Back. Dedea Redanies, Maria Back.'

 

 August 3, 1856 - Caroline and Maria Back murdered in Folkestone

January 1, 1857 - Tedea (Dedea?) Redanies hanged for the crime

Further reading click here.

 

I have seen several versions of the song "The Folkestone Murder", all are very similar and tell the story of Dedea Redanies and his murder of Caroline and Maria Beck.

The Folkestone Murder (sung by George Spicer) (Roud 897)

(Recorded 12.11.59 at The Oak Tree, Ardingley)

The latest version by Nic.

Kind friends come pay attention and listen to my song

It is about a murder, it won't detain you long

'Twas near the town of Folkestone this shocking deed was done

Maria and sweet Caroline were murdered by Switzerland John.

 

He came unto their parents' house at nine o'clock one night

But little did poor Caroline think he owed her any spite.

"Will you walk with me, dear Caroline?" the murderer did say,

And she agreed to accompany him to Shorncliffe Camp next day.

 

Said the mother to the daughter "You'd better stay at home.

It is not fit for you to go with that young man alone.

You'd better take your sister to go along with you,

Then I have no objection, dear daughter, you may go."

 

Early next morning, before the break of day

Maria and sweet Caroline from Dover town did stray.

But before they reached to Folkestone the villain drew a knife,

Maria and sweet Caroline he took away their lives.

 

Down on the ground the sisters fell, all in their blooming years

For mercy cried, "We're innocent", their eyes were filled with tears.

He plunged the knife into their breasts, their lovely breasts so deep,

He robb'd them of their own sweet lives and left them there to sleep.

 

Three times he kissed their pale cold cheeks as they lay on the ground,

He took the capes from off their backs, for on him they were found.

He said "Farewell dear Caroline, your blood my hands have stained.

No more on earth shall I see you, but in heaven we'll meet again."

 

Early next morning their bodies they were found

At a lonely spot called Steady Hall, a-bleeding on the ground.

And if ever you go unto that spot, these letters you will find

Cut deeply in the grass so green: Maria and Caroline.

 

When the news it reached their parents' ears, they cried, "What shall we do?

Maria has been murdered, and lovely Caroline too"

They pulled and tore their old grey hair, in sorrow and in shame

And tears they rolled in torrents from their poor aged cheeks.

 

This murderer has been taken, his companions to him deny

And he is sent to Maidstone and is condemned to die

He said, "Farewell" to all his friends "In this world I am alone

And have to die for murder, far from my native home."

 

"The dismal bell is tolling, the scaffold I must prepare

I trust in heaven my soul shall rest and meet dear Caroline there.

Now all young man take warning from this sad fate of mine

To the memory of Maria Back and lovely Caroline."

 

A horrible song, it seems to me, with few redeeming graces - yet it has seemed to be well known, certainly among Travellers. Something of a shock, then, to find only ten instances noted in Roud... and five of these refer to George Spicer! Other known singers have been Mrs Coomber of Blackham, Sussex (noted by Anne Gilchrist in 1906), Charlie Bridger and Phoebe Smith's brother Charlie Scamp (both of Kent). The other two entries are from Canada. But George Spicer's son Ron also recorded it, in 1994, on the cassette Steel Carpet (MATS 0010), and I remember Jack Smith, the Milford, Surrey, based Traveller, singing it in the mid-sixties. Jack sang not only this but at least eight other songs, including four of Pop Maynard's, to be found on this pair of CDs.

According to Brian Matthews, 'Switzerland John' was Dedea Redanies, born in the 1830s in Belgrade. He came to England in 1855 and was enlisted into the British Swiss Legion stationed at Dover Castle. He became acquainted with a laundry worker, Mrs Back, whose husband was a dredger in Dover harbour.

During the summer of 1856, Redanies was courting the elder Back daughter, Caroline.

On August 2nd he accused her of receiving attentions from a sergeant in his unit.

She denied this and he appeared satisfied. He proposed a walk over the downs to Shorncliffe Camp the following day. Mrs Back insisted that they be chaperoned by Caroline's younger sister Maria. At Steddy's Hole, some five miles out, he killed them both.

Redanies was captured the following day at Milton Chapel Farm, Chartham, near Canterbury, after having tried to commit suicide. He was tried, found guilty and hanged at Maidstone on New Year's Day 1857.

 

George claimed that his grandfather saw Redanies captured, and was most concerned about singing the song in public for fear of offending any relatives of the Backs who might be present.

http://www.mustrad.org.uk/articles/saturday.htm

 

 

I am informed by Barry O'Brien that the inquest on the body of the girls was held in the nearby "Royal Oak" and that John had drunk a swift half in the "Three Horseshoes" at Lower Hardres immediately before his capture and rest.

 

From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday 15 February, 1867.

COUNTY POLICE COURT

Joseph Davis, who had been remanded from a previous day on a charge of breaking into the house of William Fairbrass, and stealing therefrom a great coat value 10s. was again brought up.

The evidence of the prosecutor and of Superintendent English had been taken at the first examination.

That of the first wont to show that he was a labourer living in the parish of Hougham. On Wednesday morning, January 30, about half-past six he left his house to go to work, his wife and children being in bed. Everything in the house when he left was right as far as he noticed. In about an hour afterwards his wife sent for him and on going back to his house he found that several things had been taken from it. The great coat in question was one of the articles missed. The Superintendent, who is stationed at Seabrook, said that on the day in question he received information that several things had been taken from Mr. Fairbrass's house. He made enquiries, and on Thursday morning, on coming through Sandgate, he met the prisoner coming up the street. He was wearing the coat produced and identified by Fairbrass. Witness said, "This is the coat I have been looking for; where did you get it?" prisoner replied, "I bought it." Witness then charged him with stealing it, and took him into custody.

Frederick Kitham now deposed: I live at the "Valiant Sailor," at the top of Folkestone Hill. Last Wednesday week I was on the Dover Road, about eight o'clock in the morning, when I saw the prisoner. When I first saw him he appeared to have his coat off and to be in his shirt sleeves. It was rather foggy at the time. There was a bend in the road; and I lost sight of him for a little while; but when I saw him again he had a brown coat on. He looked towards Dover, and then took up a coat off the bank and went down the lane. When he came back he had the coat on and was buttoning it up. The coat now produced by Superintendent English is very much like it. He had two bundles in his hand, one tied up in a red and white handkerchief and the other in a blue one. After the prisoner had gone I looked and found the old coat now produced, stuffed in a hole in the bank, close to where I had seen the prisoner standing. I afterwards gave the coat to Superintendent English.

In cross-examination the prisoner witness said he had no doubt as to his identity.

This completed the case for the prosecution; and the prisoner, after having had the usual caution read over to him, said nothing in his defence.

The prisoner was then fully committed to take his trial at the next Maidstone Sessions, instead of at Canterbury, on account of there being a larger number of prisoner's then usual at St. Augustine's.

Three other charges were preferred against the prisoner, who was accused of stealing clothes the property of Sergeant Tilley, Corporal Seaton, and Private Elms.

It appeared from the evidence of Mrs. Tilley, wife of the first named prosecutor, that she washed for her husband and the two other men. On the 27th January her husband gave her white under flannel and a print shirt belonging to himself, a pair of drawers belonging to Corporal Seaton, and a night shirt of Private Elms. She washed them on the 29th, and on the 31st hung them out to dry, about ten o'clock in the morning. When she went, about three, to take them in, she missed them.

The prisoner was committed for trial on these charges also.

 

From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday 18 October, 1895.

FATAL ACCIDENT

On Monday evening a sad trap accident occurred on Folkestone Hill, by which Mrs. Aird, landlady of the "Valiant Sailor," was killed, her husband and another occupant injured, and the horse killed.

 

Folkestone, Hythe, Sandgate & Cheriton Herald 07 July 1900.

CHARGE OF FRAUD.

Charles Bowman, employed by Mr. W. Aird, dairyman, the "Valiant Sailor," was charged with stealing £1 1s. 1d. from his master. It appeared that a balance to that amount was due to Mr. Aird by one of his customers, Mr. Alfred White, landlord of the "Martello," Dover-road, and that it was duly paid at the end of May to the defendant but never accounted for.

Sentenced to two months' imprisonment.

 

From the Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald. 2 March 1901. Price 1d.

AN UNLUCKY SPOT

While proceeding down Dover Hill recently a man named Hogben, who had been in the employ of Mr. W. Aird, of the "Valiant Sailor," for over twenty years, slipped on the frozen snow and broke his leg. He sent a passer by to Folkestone for a cab, but without result, as the slippery condition of the hill rendered it impossible for vehicles to ascend, and the unfortunate man was compelled to lay in agony for over two hours before assistance arrived. Mr. Aird, on being informed of the accident sent a constable who was with him to bind up the sufferer's leg, and arrived on the scene directly after with his waggonette for the purpose of driving the man to the Victoria Hospital. Hogben was carefully lifted into the vehicle, but it had not proceeded a hundred yards when it suddenly swerved right round, and turning over threw all the occupants out onto the frozen road. Mr. Aird sustained a dislocated shoulder and the others a severe shaking. About three years ago Mr. Aird's wife was killed and his daughter seriously injured by a similar upset on the same spot.

 

From the Folkestone, Hythe, Sandgate, & Cheriton Herald, 12 August, 1903.

Telephone 36.

The "Valiant Sailor Inn". On top of Folkestone Hill.

And on the main road to Dover

Unique Accommodation for Cyclists and Picnic Parties.

Afternoon Teas, served in well-appointed and Airy Rooms on the Cliffs, Cascading magnificent views of the Warren, Channel and Passing Ships.

 

Dover Express 09 April 1915.

"VALIANT SAILOR" LICENCE.

At the Eltham County Bench on Thursday last week, the licence of the "Valiant Sailor", at the top of Folkestone Hill, was temporarily transferred from the executors of the late Mr. William Aird to Mr. Alfred Aird.

 

From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday 30 April, 1926. Price 1½d.

BURGLARY AT THE VALIANT SAILOR

At the Seabrook Police Court on Friday last week, Andrew Benedict Richards, of Chatham, who was charged on remand with breaking and entering the "Valiant Sailor," Hawkinge, near Folkestone, and stealing five Masonic medals, a metal watch and a bunch of keys, valued £7 5s., was committed for trial at the Kent Assizes. The Magistrates adopted a similar course in regard to two other charges of housebreaking at Cheriton.

Mr. A. C. Aird, of the "Valiant Sailor," stated that on the night of the 14th inst. he made an inspection of the premises and found them all secure. Just after six o'clock on the following morning, upon going downstairs, he noticed that the dining room window was open and one pane was broken near the catch. The room itself was in a state of great disorder. There was an office adjoining the dining room and the door had been locked. He unlocked the door and found that the window was open, and a pane of glass near the catch was broken. The office was also in great disorder. The front door was also unbolted. He missed nothing from the dining room, but he found that five of his Masonic jewels (three produced) and a gun metal watch, which had been kept in a drawer in his desk, had gone. Later he missed a bunch of keys, some foreign coins, and a small electric torch. He identified the three medals, whilst the keys and watch were similar to those he had had. The value of the missing articles was between £7 and £8.

Detective Constable Avory, stationed at Seabrook, deposed to examining the last witness's premises on the morning of the 15th inst. A room used as an office had been entered by the window, which had a pane of glass broken near the catch. The room had the appearance of having been hurriedly searched. On the 18th inst. he saw the accused in Custody at Chatham Police Station. When charged and cautioned Richards said, "Three of the medals I gave to three men at Folkestone; I also gave one of them the watch. I do not know who they were." On the 20th he (witness) recovered the watch at New Romney.

Miss Mary Green, of Chatham, said the prisoner was her brother, and on the 15th inst. he gave her two medals, a tobacco pouch, a silver pen and pencil, and a pair of gloves.

 

From the Folkestone, Hythe, Sandgate and Cheriton Herald, 3 July 1926.

PASSENGER FLIGHTS AND GREAT AVIATION DISPLAY.

Passenger flights daily at the Flying Ground, opposite the "Valiant Sailor", Dover Road, 10 a.m. till dusk, until Sunday July 11th.

We guarantee enjoyment or cash refunded.

Flights at 5/-, 10/-, 15/- and £1. Looping the loop 15/-, other stunts by appointment.

Wonderful trick and exhibition flying during Sunday afternoon. Including such daring feats as walking the wings mid air, and other acrobatics seldom seen except on the film.

Other stunts at arrangement.

Watch for the red machines.

 

From the Folkestone, Hythe, Sandgate, & Cheriton Herald, 16 May, 1931.

The "Valiant" Sailors.

We really have no need, perhaps, to be reminded that our sailors are valiant, be they associated with the Royal Navy, the Mercantile Marine, the Lifeboat Service, or three other callings connected with those who "go down to the sea in ships and do their business in the great waters." Those who dwell inland possess much of that knowledge through the printed word or an occasional visit to the seaside, but many of us who have dwelt for the best part of our lives, as it were, on the margin of this immediate storm-swept coast, have this constantly brought before our minds. In extension of this thought we may refer to the forthcoming visit to Folkestone of H.M. battleship Valiant, with its crew of twice four hundred men of all ratings. Folkestone, true to itself, will accord these men, with the salt sea as it were, pulsating through their veins, that welcome which shall be British to the core.

That "Valiant Sailor" on the Hill-top.

Of course we have been reminded—if we needed reminding—by the "sailor" described as "Valiant" standing isolated alone on the edge of the cliff on the Folkestone-Dover Road, and standing all these years four square to all the winds that blow, and hundreds of feet above the level of the sea. Of course, I am referring to the famous inn "The Valiant Sailor" owned by Mr. A. C. Aird, as it was also by his father, the late Mr. W. Aird. Of course this particular "Sailor" is on the main road to Dover—six miles distant. Outside the establishment was at one time a toll-house or turnpike gate. So rapid is the flight of time that the present generation can hardly realise that every horse and vehicle, besides droves of sheep and cattle, were compelled to pay toll before they could pass through the aforesaid gate or similar gates on the main roads. A carrier van, and occasional horsed ’bus—that was all the communication that existed in those days, which many of us recall. And so it comes about that our "Valiant Sailor" on Dover Hill has witnessed a revolution. He has seen the old gate abolished, a ten minute motor 'bus service created between the two towns, whilst hundreds of motor vehicles pass by every day of the year. Here is progress if you like. I may be perhaps pardoned for mentioning it, that I made the first journey ever made from Folkestone to Dover on a motor vehicle named "The Pioneer." It was driven by Mr. Ernest Salter, motor engineer, and son of the late Alderman W. Salter. J.P., of Folkestone. Those of us who braved that journey, especially up Dover Hill, were proud of ourselves on that day. I often gaze on a photo which depicts the old "Pioneer" on its way to Dover. I could write a story—on exciting one, too—of on experience I had on this self-same "Pioneer" as it did a sprint down the famous Whitfield Hill. Space, however, just now forbids.

"The Jolly Sailor."

I am informed by the present proprietor Mr. Alfred C. Aird (whom I have already mentioned) that the old inn alluded to was originally designated the "Jolly Sailor." Why its name was altered I cannot tell, and my friend. Mr. Aird, cannot throw any light on the subject. Certainly there is something very jolly associated with that word Jolly. But from what I can gather from a volume I have before me, there were certain people in other days that did approve of it. Thus I read: "The use of the word 'Jolly’ on the signboards of various inns formerly so common in our ‘Merrie England’ is now so common in our 'Merrie England' is now gradually dying away. Whatever be the opinion upon the subject of national good humour it seems some people no longer desire to be advertised us jolly." Why object, for instance to the "Jolly Britisher," the ‘Molly Farmer," or the "Jolly Sailor." What a funny world is this. It would seem then that in the Merrie England of those other days they had their "killjoys" with their sour faces and the canker of envy, malice, and uncharitableness over gnawing at their hands. However, when we pause to think, the word valiant is a very fine one.

Old Coastguard Station.

When, then, our valiant guests pay us their forthcoming visit we hope they will remember that "Valiant Sailor" who has stood sentinel on yonder hill-top since that time when Folkestone was nothing more (as Defoe described it) "a miserable fishing village." Let us forget for the moment telephones, wireless, and even the (then) partly developed telegraph service. In a meadow at the rear of "The Jolly Sailor" was established a coast-guard station, with a high flag staff near it. There was a chain of these stations all along the coast. The nearest to the one mentioned were Sandgate on one side and the Lydden Spout on the other. Coastguards watched in pursuance of their calling. Here, with the aid of telescopes, they would sweep the horizon, keeping a watch the while on suspicious looking craft (smuggling perchance) or the various types of vessels (all under sail in those days) going to or coming from all parts of the globe. Of course those on board exchanged signals with those on shore by means of flags. I don't quite know how it was, but in a nearby meadow Mr. Aird caused some minor excavations to be made, for what purpose I do not for the moment remember. However the man or men employed came across a bricked structure which apparently was used by the coastguard as a much needed shelter on that bleak hill-top. In the course of digging thousands of oyster shells were found, and these were in layers. These were not the shell covering of the renowned Royal Whitstable, but the shells of the real Channel oysters, many larger than the palm of a large hand. How was it those shells formed a part in this underground cavern or shelter? There were several hundred of them.

In Close Proximity to the Meadow.

Leading from this meadow, perched on the cliff. and with the beautiful undulating Warren below, are the famous High-cliff Tea Gardens which are part and parcel of the property on which the parcel of the property on which the "Valiant Sailor" stands. Painted with the loveliest early spring flowers, these gardens provides one of the fairest of Kentish pictures. They are indeed unique in their way.

The ‘'Valiant" Boys in Blue.

Folkestone, as I have already mentioned, may be trusted to do the right thing in welcoming the "boys" associated with the fine warship bearing a name that will be on everybody’s lips in Folkestone in a few weeks’ time. One of the first objects these brave boys will "pick out" from the sea will be their namesake "The Valiant Sailor." And so this particular old "sailor" only one in England—will come at last into its own, and it may be taken for granted that their name-sake, standing on the top of the Dover Hill and keeping watch and ward on the coast during their absence, will not be one whit behind. There is not such another "Sailor" in England, and its proprietor rejoices in this tact.

Missionaries for Folkestone.

I really believe that if the hundreds of licensed victuallers, together with their lady friends, who left Folkestone after the recent conference, had been canvassed, there would not have been found a grumble in regard to their visit to this-town. Thus these have departed to the north, east, west, and south, as so many potential missionaries for our town. Each of those in their several ways—in their saloons, private, and public bars—will preach, as it were, the Gospel of Folkestone. This especially applies to the North and Midlands. On my occasional visits to distant places I have invariably tested this point. "Yes, I know Folkestone, having passed through it during the war on my way to the front." That sums up the situation in regard to many I have met. Strolling on the ''Stray'’ at Harrogate one fine day I came across an individual (a young man about town" he appeared to be) who had not then heard of Folkestone. Of course he could not have read much. It is, however, no astounding fact that with all our publicity, there still remains much to be done in the way of advertising propaganda, and it in cheerful to know that the hundreds of licensed victuallers will now do their share. Of course, the great success of the visit was the splendid behaviour of the Clerk of the Weather. He it was that painted our scenery and attractions in golden rays of sunlight.

 

From the Dover Express, 19 August, 1938.

TELEVISION IN EAST KENT. RECEPTION AT "VALIANT SAILOR."

Radio enthusiasts will be interested to learn of the splendid reception of television programmes at the Highcliffe Tea Gardens (adjoining the "Valiant Sailor") which is 546ft. above sea level. Although some 80 miles from the television transmitter at Alexandra Palace, programmes are received with the utmost clarity. The demonstrations are arranged by Bobby’s wireless department, of 8, Bouverie Place, Folkestone, and two Pye vision receivers are used.

 

From the Dover Express, 13 May, 1970

£80 pub raid at Capel

Drinks and cigarettes worth £80 were stolen during the weekend from the "Valiant Sailor" public house at the top of Dover Hill, Folkestone, by raiders who got through a window.

 

Birmingham Daily Post - Friday 1 September 1972.

Closed Window Led To Death Of Girl.

A Birmingham girl killed by gas fumes while taking a shower would probably have survived if a window in the room had been opened.

Mr. Paul Sweeney, aged 40, of Kingsbury Road, Erdington Birmingham, told the Coroner at Folkestone how he spent a holiday early last month with his wife and three children at the "Valiant Sailor" caravan site Capel-le-Ferne.

On the 5th day his older daughter, June, aged 14, had decided to take a shower for the first time during her stay with her sister Maureen, aged 10. They got up early and made a cup of tea, then went to take their shower.

When after a while they failed to return, there 7 year old brother Paul was sent to look for them. He came back and said his sister's appeared to have left the shower, although one door was still engaged.

Mrs. Sweeney was not satisfied and went to the shower, where she prised open the closely fitting door with a nail. She found Jane slumped in a sitting position and Maureen lying on the floor beside her.

The two girls were dragged outside, given the kiss of life, and taken to hospital. Maureen recovered, but Jane died.

Gas Flow.

Mr. Norman Ricktwood, a South Eastern Gas Board official inspected the shower after the tragedy, said he found the only ventilation came from a one-eighth of an inch gap under the door, a small air-brick, and the window, which is understood to have been closed when the girls took their shower.

The gas flow to the heater was 15% above normal and there were signs of distortion in the fins of the heat exchanger. When he carried out of test with the door and window closed, he found that 1% of carbon monoxide built up from the heater in about 20 minutes.

This was sufficient to endanger life, but with the window open he found there was no significant build-up of carbon monoxide.

No instructions on how to use the shower were displayed and the heater was of a type that would not be fitted for such use today.

The licensee of the "Valiant Sailor" public house, Mrs. Floria Ramsford, said she had applied for new instructions to replace missing ones but have been informed by the Gas Board that they are out-of-print.

The Coroner, Mr. Norman Franks, said that from the evidence he could only conclude that with the window open there was no danger to life and there was no reason why the girls should not have opened it. He recorded a verdict of death by misadventure.

 

LICENSING BOARD – 18 AUGUST 1999.

1. Application for the grant of an outdoor public entertainments licence for The Valiant Sailor, New Dover Road, Capel le Ferne.

Mr. D Lewis, the applicant, spoke at the meeting in support of his application which was for an annual charity musical event to be held this year on Saturday 28 August 1999.

RESOLVED:- To grant an outdoor public entertainments licence for The Valiant Sailor, ew Dover Road, Capel le Ferne for an event to be held on Saturday 28 August 1999, the hours to be restricted to:- 15.00hrs to 23.45hrs and a maximum occupancy of 300 persons.

 

Valiant Sailor business card 2007

Valiant Sailor business card 2007

From an email received 3 October 2009.

Dear Mr Skelton.

Thank you for an interesting resume of some history together with photographs of the Valiant Sailor Inn, Capel le Ferne, which I found particularly interesting as my grandmother Lilian Lizzie VIDLER was born there in 1882 as per the copy of her birth certificate.

Her mother was Ann Elizabeth nee GIBSON of Elham,Kent and father was Charles VIDLER born Brenzett, Romney Marsh, who as a single man in the 1881 census was employed by William AIRD, Innkeeper at the Valiant Sailor and farmer of 175 acres, as a milkman.

By 1882 he had married and he was described as a milkman on both his marriage certificate and again on the birth certificate of his daughter Lilian, the following year. On the census record his surname is erroneously transcribed as DIDLER.

By 1890, the VIDLER family were living at Sandgate, Folkestone, where Charles was by now, employed by a man named KEELER as a carrier when in October of that year whilst engaged in collecting rocks from the beach at Sandgate with his horse and cart, he sadly was found drowned at the waters edge early one morning, apparently the victim of an accident.

Lilian Lizzie VIDLER was eventually to marry my grandfather Walter NICOLL at Elham in 1903, where he was employed as a groom at the East Kent Hunt kennels at Elham where his father William NICOLL was huntsman. since 1897. and when the mastership of the hunt changed in 1900, to Harry SELBY-LOWNDES, William NICOLL was to become 1st Whipper in, as the master took it upon himself to be the huntsman too and carried the horn. I mention these subsequent events as during the 30 or so years tenure of H SELBY-LOWNDES at the East Kent, he apparently instituted a tradition of a hunt meet at the Warren, Capel le Ferne, each Easter Monday, when around 2000 people would travel to see the huntsmen, members and hounds. The old photo you have published appears to have at least a couple of what look like fox hunters in the background, and I wondered if you could give a better idea of the circa this was taken and if indeed it was an occasion of a hunt meet there.

Thank you also for the more recent photographs of my grandmothers birthplace.

I live in retirement in France but will be visiting Kent in November and in particular The Valiant Sailor during this time, but if you can tell me if any other old photographs of the Valiant Sailor exist from around 1880 into the 20th century, and if so, and how and who I could contact regarding gaining sight of such copies. I should be most grateful.

Yours Faithfully Ian William NICOLL.

 

Read follow up story at "Castle Inn," Folkestone.

 

From the Dover Express, 20 November 2014.

A most wonderful time of the year.

Why Christmas Day in your local is magical. By John Townsend, landlord of the Valiant Sailor in Capel.

Valiant Sailor 2014 John Townsend

CHRISTMAS is always a special time for family and friends sharing good food and drink.

Running a pub you get to celebrate this wonderful time of the year with your customers.

Some pop by for a drink while the dinner is cooking, others like having their Christmas dinner cooked by someone else so they can relax and enjoy it.

A pub’s atmosphere on this day particularly is so warm and it’s great to see everyone happy. It just feels like home.

This is our first year in the Valiant Sailor and we are opening for drinks on Christmas Day at noon for three hours.

So if you want to come by we’ll have a log fire burning.

Next Christmas we hope to be cooking the Christmas dinner too!

 

From the Dover Express, 26 March 2015.

CELEBRATE the start of spring at this lovely pub.

Valiant Sailor 2015

VALIANT: The Valiant Sailor in Capel.

Easter is a week away and that long bank holiday weekend will soon be here.

THE evenings are getting lighter, the weather is turning brighter and the grass is getting greener - surely that means we have made it to spring!

Here at the Valiant Sailor in Capel-Le Ferne, we have it all on offer this Easter, whether the weather turns out to be lovely and sunny or if it’s raining and windy. We have a lovely beer garden which also offers a children’s play area, meaning you can come and enjoy a drink with friends and let the kids have some fun at the same time.

We also now offer traditional home-cooked food complete with children’s menu all at £4.85, which you can enjoy in our restaurant area, or in the pub area for a more relaxed atmosphere. Be sure to book to avoid disappointment as we can fill up quickly - especially on a Sunday for our roasts.

Valiant Sailor insdie 2015

After spending most of the winter tucked up at home, make sure you make the most of your bank holiday weekend and come and see us for a drink, lunch or dinner.

■ Book your table with John or Mike on 01303 621737.

 

From the https://www.kentonline.co.uk By Victoria Chessum, 14 July 2015.

Man dies after falling down World War Two bunker in Capel-le-Ferne.

A man who fell 15ft down a World War Two bunker has died from his injuries.

It happened on Thursday before 1pm when the man was walking on cliff tops near Capel-le-Ferne.

He was airlifted to a London hospital with serious head injuries, but died on Saturday.

A spokesman for South East Coast Ambulance Service said: "We attended near the Valiant Sailor pub in New Dover Road.

"A man suffered a fall into a hole. A technical rescue was needed so fire were on the scene and so were coastguard."

Several ambulance vehicles were sent to the scene with two ambulances, two cars and Secamb’s Hazardous Area Response Team.

 

From the https://www.kentonline.co.uk By John Leonidou, 5 April 2019.

Campervan and motorhome holidays at The Valiant Sailor in Capel-le-Ferne Kent.

Easter is traditionally seen as the start of holiday getaways across the UK and those seeking a campervan or motorhome holiday in Kent should head to The Valiant Sailor.

Kent is a popular attraction for many visitors seeking a local break as they can take in the tranquility of the Kent Downs, see the historic streets of Canterbury or visit the impressive White Cliffs of Dover.

In fact, holidaymakers in motorhomes or campervans planning a trip down to East Kent during the Easter break should pencil in a stay or stopover at The Valiant Sailor in the quaint village of Capel le Ferne.

Those seeking some interesting campervan and motorhome spots in Kent should look into The Valiant Sailor according to the historic pub owner Emma Lowe.

Dating back to 1782, The Valiant Sailor is a cosy dog-friendly and family-friendly country pub that also offers a large car park for motorhomes.

Situated on the North Downs Way and England Coast Path, the pub is known hotspot for ramblers and walking groups.

The pub is perched in White Cliffs Country at the top of Dover Hill on the outskirts of the picturesque and historical village of Capel-le-Ferne.

"We can also accommodate up to four motorhomes each night although it’s best to book in advance," said Emma Lowe who owns The Valiant Sailor.

"We don’t actually charge for overnight parking and all we ask in return is that the motorhome guests eat and drink at our pub for each night they are staying."

It’s noteworthy tradeoff.

Valianr Sailor inside 2019

The pub’s kitchen is open for lunch and dinner with its home-cooked meals - made from local produce - and great roasts every Sunday.

The Valiant Sailor is rich in history and has witnessed, experienced and endured its fair share of landmark events and horror.

The pub’s kitchen is open for lunch and dinner with its home-cooked meals - made from local produce - and great roasts every Sunday earning it a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence for 2017 and 2018.

There is also an array of keg, cask and craft beers as well as a selection of fine wines, spirits and soft drinks.

"Visitors will really enjoy our large beer garden that has a children's play area and a covered smoking area," added Emma.

"The Valiant Sailor has something for everyone and everybody is welcome!"

The Valiant Sailor is located on the B2011, next to the Battle of Britain Memorial and halfway between Eurotunnel and the Port of Dover. For more information about the pub, visit the official website here.

 

From the Kentish Gazette, 1841,

At the Warren, between Dover and Folkestone, at Ten o'clock, punctually, on Tuesday, Dec 21, 1841.

By Charles Cock.

THE BUILDINGS, Implements, and Utensils, as used by the Proprietors, they having completed their contract on that portion of the South Eastern Railway; consisting a Wood Building, 50 feet by 12 feet, used as a Dwelling-House, with Tap room, Shop, and Cellar; also Carpenters' and Smiths’ Shops, Stabling, &c. with their Fixtures, &c. complete; (these Buildings are so constructed as to be removed in sections.) Two Forge Bellows, 2 Anvils, 2 Vices, Blacksmiths Tools, &c.; between 200 and 300 pieces of 3-inch Fir Planks; a quantity of new and old Iron and Steel; several Crow Bars, Sledges, and Wedges; Drilling Tackle for blowing; complete set of Taps and Dies; Screws for shoeing Wheels; a Chain, fit for Topsail Sheets of a Vessel; Cabin Stove and Copper Funnel; about 1200 ft. temporally Iron Rails; 250 Wheel-barrows; sundry Barrow-wheels; 50 2-wheel Hand Carts; 25 3-wheel Carts, upon improved principles; patent Chaff Cutting Machine, &c. &c.; also FIVE GOOD ACTIVE HORSES, in perfect working condition.

Printed Catalogues, Sixpence each, may be had three days previous the Sale, at the "Valiant Sailor" Folkestone Gate; "Lion Inn," Hythe, "Ship Inn," Dymchurch; Mr. Humphreys, Romney; Mr. Bass, Lydd, "George Inn," Rye; "George Inn," Ashford; Messrs. Wood and Holmes’ Tea Dealers, Maidstone; at the principal Inns, Tunbridge; Messrs. Denne and Hicks, Sandwich; and of the Auctioneer, 73, Snargate street, Dover.

 

Kentish Gazette, 26 August 1845.

FOLKESTONE.

The Earl of Radnor has munificently presented the parish of Folkestone with a large piece of land on the Lees, adjoining the church, for the purpose of enlarging the churchyard, which is much crowded. Part of the ground of the original yard was the gift of the noble earl's father.

At a meeting of the trustees of the turnpike-roads from Dover to Sandgate land from Folkestone to Barham Downs, held at the Town-hall, in this place, on Wednesday last, the tolls payable at the Folkestone-hill gate on the Dover road were put up to let by auction, at the sum of £241. Mr. George Berry, of Folkestone, victualler, bidding the sum of £254, was declared to be the hirer. The tolls payable at the Sandgate gate on the said road were also put up at the sum of £401 and the said Mr. George Berry bidding the sum of £170, was declared the hirer, and the tolls payable at the Folkestone-hill gate and side gate on the Barham-road were put up at the sum of £162. Mr. George Smith, of Ashford, toll-farmer, bidding the sum £170, was declared the hirer; and the tolls payable at the Denton gate and side gate on the said road were put up at the sum of £145, and the said Mr. George Smith bidding the sum of £149, was declared the hirer. At this meeting a notice was ordered, cautioning all persons, who, after having blocked or stopped any vehicle, in going up a hill, on the road from Dover to Sandgate shall leave the stone or other thing with which it was blocked, and they will thereby subject themselves to a penalty of forty shillings.

 

Southeastern Gazette 20 February 1855.

Inquest.

An inquest was held yesterday week at the Martello Tavern, before Silvester Eastes Esq., Coroner, on the body of Ambrose Bowers, a stonemason.

Richard Underdown identified the body; he had seen the deceased on the Monday previous; he was then working at Dover.

Richard Kitham, landlord of the Valiant Sailor, Folkestone Hill, deposed: The deceased came to my house a little before 10 o’clock on Saturday evening, asked for a glass of rum, and received change for a shilling; he had been drinking pretty freely; he said he had walked from Dover, and had felt the cold very much; he had a little dog, which my wife admired, and he offered to give it to her, but she gave him a fourpenny piece for it, which I put into his waistcoat pocket. I heard no more of him until a little before 7 o’clock on Sunday morning, when Webb and Tucker, two labourers, called at the house and said a man was lying dead on the Folkestone-hill. He was the same person who called the night previous.

Henry Webb deposed: I am labourer in the employ of Mr. Killick, farmer. As I was walking up Folkestone Hill a little before 7 o'clock on Sunday morning I saw the body of the deceased; his nose was bleeding slightly, as if from fall. He attempted to speak, but I could not understand what he said.

William Tucker, another labourer, corroborated the last witness’s evidence, and added that the deceased died while he remained with him, the last witness having gone to call Mr. Kitham.

Superintendent Steer deposed that he received information that a man was frozen to death, and examined the spot where the deceased fell; he appeared to have fallen on his face, to have in vain tried to get up ; and then to have laid down on his back to sleep. His face had blood upon it. Found the body had been removed to Mr. Killick’s farm. Found no money on him.

The Coroner observed that it was a very severe night on Saturday last, and the deceased being in a state of intoxication had probably felt very sleepy, and having fallen, could not get up, but laid down to sleep; but for his intemperance it was probable he would have walked sharp into the town and thus have warmed himself.

Verdict, "That Ambrose Bowers was frozen to death, at the time being in a state of intoxication."

 

Folkestone Express 8 July 1871.

Impudent Burglary.

On Wednesday night some daring persons gained an entrance to the Valiant Sailor public house by breaking the window of a back kitchen after the inhabitants had retired. A rabbit which the burglars found in the house was skinned and dressed, a fire lighted in the grate, and the rabbit cooked. Cloth was laid and plates and knives and forks used, and the men (if they were men and not ghouls) sat down to their nocturnal meal, leaving everything to be cleared away by the hostess in the morning.

 

Southeastern Gazette 25 July 1871.

Local News.

On Wednesday night some daring persons gained an entrance to the Valiant Sailor public house, by breaking the window of a back kitchen after the inmates had retired to bed. A rabbit which the burglars found in the house was skinned and dressed, a fire lighted in the grate, and the rabbit cooked. Cloth was laid and plates and knives and forks used, and the fellows sat down to their nocturnal meal, leaving everything to be cleared away by the hostess in the morning.

 

Folkestone Express 10 February 1877.

Inquest.

Nothing has transpired during the last week to disturb the usual briskness of the ordinary work in the Warren, except the finding of the body of the unfortunate man Marsh, who was killed by the fall near the Eagle's Nest. The poor man's body was found on Monday evening by a platelayer named Underdown, who was engaged in clearing away the chalk and earth. The remains were so dreadfully mutilated as to be scarcely recognisable, the lower jaw being completely knocked up over the nose, and the legs and body so compressed as to leave hardly a whole bone in the body. Strange to say, those who expected to find the remains of the unfortunate man near the spot where he was last seen, were greatly surprised to find that they were discovered about two chains away, on the top of the chalk, and not, as some thought they would be found lying close to the metals. This was accounted for by the fact that the poor man was walking along the line, and the first fall of the chalk knocked him down, but instead of burying him, threw his body on the top, the remainder of the chalk then burying him.

Last Wednesday, one of the most interesting operations that have taken place since the first slip was commenced, in the shape of blasting away the loose portions of the cliff, which were thought to be dangerous, and likely, if they fell, to again stop the line. During the latter part of last week and the beginning of this, men were engaged in picking away the outer face of the cliff previous to blasting. To enable them to do this they were suspended over the cliff by ropes, which were passed through a ring to a leather belt which they wore round their waists, and which were fastened to stakes driven some distance into the ground. The face of the cliff is very much altered, indeed, from about 300 yards on the Dover side of the Eagle's Nest, for a good distance the cliff is hardly recognisable.

An addition of 400 men has been made to those now working on the tunnel and slips, and it is now almost certain that the tunnel will be clear in about 28 days. So nearly have they got through that the sound of the men working on the outside is plainly heard by those clearing on the inside of the tunnel. It is proposed to make an open cutting of part of the Martello Tunnel, from the Dover end, for about 150 to 200 yards.

The men do not have to travel very far for their beer, Messrs. Langton and Co., of the Imperial Brewery, Tontine Street, having erected a shed near the works and taken out a license to sell intoxicating liquors there. Those who have charge of the beershop are very often placed in a very awkward predicament. For instance, on one occasion, just as they had "turned in" for a little rest, some of the excavators called for beer, and upon being refused, threatened to burn the "shanty" down, and actually kindled a large fir on the outside with the intention of so doing, but the inmates having become alarmed, they supplied them with beer.

On Sunday evening, as the South Eastern Railway Company's bus was proceeding to Dover a number of navvies waylaid it, and having thrashed the conductor and driver, jumped on the top and drove off to Dover.

"It's an ill wind that blows nobody any good" is thoroughly verified by the fact that although the stoppage of the line is a great loss to the South Eastern Railway Company it has proved a lucky windfall to the keepers of the toll gates on the Dover Road, the traffic along the road being enormous.

An inquest was held at the Valiant Sailor, on the Dover Road, on Wednesday last, before the County Coroner, Thos. Thorpe Delasaux Esq., on the body of the unfortunate man Marsh, who was killed by the fall of chalk from the Eagle's Nest in the Warren on the 15th January last.

The unfortunate man, who has been in the employ of the South Eastern Railway Company for upwards of twenty five years, leaves a wife and family, and we are pleased to notice that several benevolent persons are endeavouring to raise a subscription for them.

Henry Underdown, a Folkestone man, who is a platelayer in the employ of the South Eastern Railway Company, said he had been employed with many others in clearing away the chalk which had fallen on the line in the slip from the Eagle's Nest. He was present when the body of the deceased was found on Monday last about five o'clock. He was quite dead, and appeared to have been so for some days. He believed deceased came by his death by being suffocated by the chalk that had fallen upon him. He had been working near the spot where the deceased was killed. He believed the slip was caused by the great quantity of rain which had lately fallen, and thought that the deceased was accidentally killed.

Charles Peters, living at Folkestone, a platelayer, who has been employed on the South Eastern Railway for the last twenty years, identified the body as that of William Marsh, who was in the same employ as himself. He said that on the day in question he was at dinner with the deceased, when his wife called him (deceased) to put a plaster on his side, as he had had one of his ribs broken some time back. While the deceased was having the plaster put on witness was sent for by Mr. Brady. Shortly after he saw deceased walking down the line towards Dover with a signal flag in his hand, and a few seconds after an immense quantity of chalk fell in the direction in which the deceased had gone, and on the spot where his body has since been found. He agreed with the last witness; in his opinion the fall of chalk was occasioned by the late heavy rains. Not a moment's warning was given of the probability of the chalk falling.

Edward Scott, another platelayer, also identified the body and corroborated the evidence of the last witness.

The Coroner, in summing up, said there were only two questions for the jury to consider, and they were what caused the deceased's death, and whether he was suffocated by the chalk falling upon him. There was no blame attached to anyone, and he had no doubt the falling of the earth was caused by the late heavy rains.

After a short deliberation the jury returned a unanimous verdict of "Accidental Death" caused by a great quantity of earth falling upon him.

 

Folkestone Express 18 October 1879.

Hythe County Police Court.

Before The Mayor, Rev. F. Wrench, and Dr. Wildash.

William Vye was charged with being drunk and refusing to quit licensed premises, the Valiant Sailor Inn, Dover Road, Folkestone, on the 7th instant.

William Aird said that on the 7th inst. the defendant went to his house in the evening intoxicated. He ordered the defendant out, and he refused to go, so witness ejected him. Defendant then used disgusting language and took off his coat to fight, and struck at him repeatedly.

John Giles said that he saw Mr. Aird trying to put the defendant out. He could not say if the defendant was drunk; if he was not drunk, he was very "fightable".

The Bench fined the defendant £1 and 12s. costs, or in default 14 days' hard labour.

 

Southeastern Gazette 12 July 1880.

County Court.

Saturday: Before George Russell, Esq.

William Selles v. W. Aird, and Walter Banks v. The Same: These actions were to recover damages for wrongful dismissal, the plaintiffs being boys In defendant’s service as yearly servants. Both cases were heard together.

The defence was that the plaintiffs were very negligent in their duties, often missing twenty customers whom they had to serve with milk, that they came home late at night, and otherwise misbehaved themselves.

His Honour held upon the evidence that the dismissal was justified, and gave a verdict for the defendant. Costs were not asked for.

 

Folkestone Chronicle 17 July 1880.

County Court.

Saturday, July 10th: Before G. Russell Esq.

W. Sellis and W. Banks v W. Aird: This was a claim by plaintiffs against defendant, the landlord of the Valiant Sailor, who is a dairyman, for wrongful dismissal.

Mr. Minter for plaintiffs and Mr. Mowll for defendant.

William Sellis said he entered the defendant's service on the 11th Oct. last for twelve months, at £8 10s. a year. He was to board and sleep in the house. On Sunday, the 13th June, he was discharged. He and his companion reached home at ten minutes past eleven. His master said he was not going to keep the house open for them on Sunday night. He turned them out, but afterwards allowed them to sleep there for the night.

W. Banks gave corroborative evidence.

In defence, it was contended that the lads were negligent of their duties, refused to get up in the morning when called, and had lost their employer many customers. Defendant said he had frequent complaints against them, and the week before he discharged them they had missed as many as eighty customers. A man in defendant's employ corroborated this evidence, which was supported by that of two customers who had been neglected.

His Honour said he must hold that the boys were culpably negligent, and that their dismissal was justified. He gave judgement for the defendant in each case. Mr. Aird did not ask for costs.

 

Folkestone Express 17 July 1880.

County Court.

Saturday, July 10th: Before G. Russell Esq.

William Sellis v William Aird: This was a claim by the plaintiff, a lad, lately in the employ of defendant, a dairyman, residing at the Valiant Sailor Inn, to recover damages for wrongful dismissal. There was a second case, in which Walter Banks was the plaintiff, the particulars being precisely the same. Nr. Minter appeared for the plaintiffs, and Mr. Mowll for the defendant.

William Sellis said he entered the defendant's service on the 11th October last for twelve months at £8 10s. a year. He was to board and sleep in the house. On Sunday, the 13th June, he was discharged. He and his companion reached home at ten minutes past eleven. His master said he was not going to keep the house open for them on Sunday night. He turned them out, but afterwards allowed them to sleep there for the night.

In reply to Mr. Mowll, plaintiff denied that they had continually missed customers. They had not given Mr. Aird great trouble by staying out late at night and refusing to get up in the morning when called. It was not a quarter to twelve when they got home on Sunday night. Mr. Aird said he would give them till eleven o'clock sometimes. They had to get up at five o'clock in the morning.

Walter Banks corroborated this evidence. He said Mr. Aird was not waiting up for them, as there were persons in the house when they got home. It had frequently been half past eleven before they got home when Mr. Aird was in the town with them.

In cross-examination witness denied having missed as many as fifteen customers in one round. They had missed customers because it was impossible to remember them out of their heads. Frequently Mr. Aird did not book up for three days.

Defendant then described the duties of the two lads. In consequence of their irregularity in delivering milk he had lost many of his best customers. He had frequent complaints. The week before he discharged them they missed as many as twenty customers. They did not have a written list. They would have to go to about eighty houses, and they knew them well. He frequently had to complain about their not getting up, and ten o'clock was their time to get home without they had permission to stay later. On one occasion they stayed out all night. It was a quarter to twelve when they reached home on the Sunday night in question, and their delivery for the day had not been booked. They told his man they did not care for his customers. They were yearly servants, and it did not matter what they did. He was a considerable loser in consequence of the lads not having fulfilled their engagement.

Jams Tickner, a man in Mr, Aird's employ, said it was a quarter to twelve when the lads came home. He had never known them to be working for Mr. Aird after eight o'clock, beyond feeding the ponies.

Mr. John David Robinson and Mr. Daniel Ealding gave evidence that the plaintiffs had frequently neglected to deliver milk to them.

His Honour said he must hold that the boys were culpably negligent, and that their dismissal was justified. He gave judgement for the defendant in each case. Mr. Aird did not ask for costs.

 

Folkestone Express 4 June 1881.

Inquest.

On Wednesday afternoon an inquest was held at the Royal Oak Inn on the Dover Road on the body of a man who was found dead in a field at Capel-le-Ferne. From a paper found on the body it was ascertained that his name was Thomas Tickner, and that he was formerly a gunner in the Royal Artillery. He had been previously seen in the Railway Bell Inn, and subsequently at the Valiant Sailor Inn, where he appears to have created a disturbance. The body was found lying over a land roller. There were several bruises about the face, both eyes were blackened, and the head, face, and neck were very greatly discoloured in such a manner as to lead to the suspicion that the man had met with foul play. The presumption was further strengthened by the fact that on searching the body the police only found a sixpence and some coppers, while it was stated that the morning previous he was at a public house in the neighbourhood, when he had, besides other money, a half sovereign in his possession. It appeared, however, from the medical evidence, that the man's neck was dislocated. There was no extravasation of blood in the brains, and as there appeared to be no doubt that the man had been addicted to drinking, it was thought he probably sat on the roller and fell over, and a verdict was returned of death from dislocation of the neck, there being no evidence to show how it occurred.

 

Folkestone Express 3 September 1881.

Hythe Petty Sessions.

Thursday, September 1st: Before Major Kirkpatrick, K. Kingsford Esq., and Dr. Wildash.

Thomas Young, a tramp, was charged with stealing, on the 27th of August, 5s., the money of William Aird, of the Valiant Sailor, Folkestone.

P.C. Wickens said that the prisoner was given into his custody, and he told him that he was charged with stealing 10s. He said he knew nothing about it. On the way to the police station, prisoner said "Policeman, you were right; I put a 2s. piece in a man's pocket. You must do your duty, but if it is months hence I shall come back and find my nest".

The prisoner pleaded Guilty, and was sentenced to two months ' hard labour.

 

Southeastern Gazette 3 September 1881.

Hythe County Sessions.

On Thursday, before the Mayor (H. B. Mackeson, Esq.), J. Kirkpatrick, and R. Kingsford, Esqrs., and Dr. Wildash, Thomas Young was charged on remand, with stealing 5s., the money of William Aird, on the 27th of August last.

The prosecutor deposed that he was the owner of the Valiant Sailor Inn, at Uphill, Folkestone, and in consequence of what he had heard about the prisoner on Saturday he ran after him and caught him outside the Royal Oak public-house. He behaved in a very rough manner, but he (prosecutor) searched his pockets and found in them two 2s. pieces and one penny, which he said he had earned at harvesting near Beaohborough.

Minnie Connelly, the barmaid of the Valiant Sailor, said that at about a quarter to twelve on Saturday she examined the till and found it contained between 14s. and 15s. About noon she again examined it and found it only contained 2s. 9d. She did not see the prisoner that day.

P.C. Wickens, K.C.C., deposed to apprehending the accused, who, when on the road to the police station, said "Policeman you are right, I put a two shilling piece in that man’s pocket. You must do your duty."

The prisoner pleaded guilty; and was sentenced to two months’ hard labour.

 

Folkestone Express 22 July 1882.

Local News.

At the County Police Court on Monday, John Ferguson, of Folkestone, was brought up charged with assaulting Mr. and Mrs. Aird, of the Valiant Sailor public house, on the Folkestone Road, on Sunday last; and with doing damage to the door to the amount of 4s. He stood further charged with assaulting Police Constable Wickens of the County Constabulary.

William Aird said that on Sunday afternoon the defendant went to his house, in company with two or three others, knocked at the door with a tremendous force, and witness opened it and found defendant there with his coat and waistcoat off. Witness asked them what they wanted, as it was during prohibited hours. Prisoner said "Give me two glasses of whisky". He replied that he could not have it as it was during prohibited hours. Defendant then made use of the most obscene language and sat down on a form outside. He therefore asked him to move, and went up to him, and putting his hand on his shoulder said "Move on". The prisoner then struck him a blow on the side of the head. Witness ran indoors and got his gun and said "Now the next man that comes in here I will strike him over the head with the butt end of my gun". He went into the house, and his wife went to shut the door, but whilst she was doing that the prisoner struck her in the face, causing the blood to flow. Witness then sent for a constable, and after he came defendant kicked him twice whilst he was endeavouring to take him into custody. After they got the prisoner into the cart to convey him to the Dover Police Station he was very violent, and whilst on the road the prisoner suddenly cocked his foot up and kicked witness on the side of the head very severely. He made use of the most filthy language all the way to the station.

Lizzie Vidler, who resides opposite, corroborated the complainant's statement. She saw the prisoner pull out his purse and ask the other man to go and get something to drink.

Instructing Constable Henry Wickens, stationed at Hougham, said he went with Mr. Aird and others in pursuit of the prisoner, and came up with him and three other men near the Royal Oak. Mr. Aird charged him with assaulting and beating him, and witness said "I shall have to apprehend you and convey you to Dover". He replied "You b----, you take me into custody. Why, I will be the death of you". The prisoner then began to kick about and swear so, that he called the assistance of Mr. Aird, and with difficulty they handcuffed him. The prisoner kicked witness twice in the scuffle. At last they got him in a cart, and with difficulty conveyed him to Dover. On the road the prisoner was very violent and threw up one of his feet and caught Mr. Aird in the face.

William Hilton, a tailor, of 62, Fenchurch Street, Folkestone, said: On Sunday afternoon I was with the prisoner, Mr. Hayes, and Mr. Allen. Three of us went up the hill from Folkestone and sat outside Mr. Aird's house on a seat. When we arrived there were two young gentlemen outside, and they knocked at Mr. Aird's door. Mr. Aird came out, but the young gentlemen were gone. The landlord pushed the prisoner, Ferguson, Hayes and myself off the seat. The prisoner asked what he meant by doing so, and with that Aird ran indoors and fetched a double barrelled gun and, aiming it at the prisoner, fired. However, I supposed there was only a cap on it for it only made a slight noise when he fired. The prisoner resisted the gun, and pushed Aird's arm on one side. The landlord then ran indoors and got a poker, saying he would knock his (the prisoner's) brains out with it. Subsequently I went up the road, and by the time we got to the Royal Oak, Hougham, a constable and three others came up to us in a cart. The constable said he was going to take the prisoner into custody for assaulting Mr. Aird. After the prisoner was in custody I saw Mr. Aird put his hand into prisoner's pocket and take out a purse containing 25s. and put it into his own. The prisoner wanted me to take the money, but Aird would not let him, as he put his hand into prisoner's pocket and took the purse out. We never knocked at Aird's door at all, but it was two young gentlemen who did it. The evidence of the last witness is not true. The prisoner pulled off his coat and waistcoat while coming up the hill, and it is not true that he pulled his shirt off. The prisoner did not pull his purse out and ask us to go and get something. The prisoner was quite sober, and so were all the rest of us. We had previously been at the Fountain and had some ginger beer and whisky mixed. Previous to that we had been at the Globe, where we had been after we came out the Fountain, and we separated and went home to dinner, and then walked on to Dover.

H.J. Hayes, a groom, residing at 57, Fenchurch Street, Folkestone, said: I was with the prisoner on Sunday. We went to the Fountain and had some beer and the others had ginger beer. I did not go to the other public house with them, as I met them just as they had left that place. Then we went and had dinner, and we walked down to the Junction Station at Folkestone in order to come to Dover. However, we were too late and we set off to walk. The prisoner said he would walk me up the Dover hill, and for that purpose the prisoner pulled off his coat and waistcoat, and Allen held them for him. The prisoner arrived at the Valiant Sailor first, and then sat down on the seat outside. Two young gentlemen were sitting on the seat at the time and knocked at the door, but as nobody came they went away. Just as they had gone, however, the prosecutor came out and asked us what we meant by knocking at his door. We told him we had not done so, and he replied "You ---- blackguards. You get off my premises". With this Aird pushed us all off the seat. Some words then ensued between Aird and the prisoner, who had been sitting on the seat nearest the door. I never saw prisoner strike Aird or his wife. Aird then ran into the house and got a double barrelled gun, which he presented at the prisoner, and on the right hand nipple there was a cap, but he could not fire, for the hammer was only half cocked. Finding the gun would not go off he ran in again and got the poker, after which a scuffle ensued. I then proceeded up the road. After this the constable, Mr. Aird, and another man came up with us near the Royal Oak, Hougham. The constable told the prisoner he was going to take him into custody on a charge of assaulting and beating Mr. and Mrs. Aird. The prisoner said he knew nothing about it. The prisoner then wished me to take his money, but Aird would not allow him, and took it out of his pocket. There were two half sovereigns, two two shilling pieces, and two sixpences. The prosecutor then took the money out and threw the purse on the side of the road in the grass.

Mrs. Vidler was re-called, and said she was confident she saw Ferguson pull out his purse, and heard him ask Hayes to go and get something, and after waiting for a time the prisoner went and thumped the door with his fists and head. She did not see any young gentlemen there before they came up the hill. Hayes was the first man to go to the door, but he did not appear to knock, and then Ferguson went. Ferguson was the first man up there, and then, as witness was frightened, she rushed to the door to see what the man had got his coat off for, and then saw the other three coming up the hill. She saw Aird with a gun after Ferguson struck him. The gun was not pointed, however, but he used the butt end.

At the request of Superintendent Maxted, the case was adjourned till Thursday.

John Ferguson was brought up on remand at the County Petty Sessions, held at the Town Hall, Dover, on Thursday afternoon.

Mr. Mowll appeared for the prosecution, and Mr. Rayner for the defence.

The evidence taken at the previous hearing will be found on another page.

Mr. Aird, the prosecutor, produced the gun which the witnesses alleged he had fired at them. It was a central fire breech-loading gun. He had not used it for quite six weeks previous to Sunday last.

Cross-examined by Mr. Payne: After the prisoner struck him he went indoors and took his gun from the place where he usually kept it. He held it by the barrel with the butt upwards. He did not see the prisoner rap at the door, but he peeped through the blind and saw him leave the door.

Mrs. Harriett Aird was next called. She corroborated her husband's evidence and said that she was upstairs when she heard the knocking at the door, and immediately went downstairs to see what was the matter, and heard her husband say to the prisoner "If you continue knocking like that I'll knock the first one down with this". He had a poker in his hand which he picked up after he had put the gun away. She tried to shut the door and had nearly fastened it when it was thrust open and the prisoner hit her in the mouth, cutting her lip. The prisoner took everything off with the exception of his trousers. Her husband held the gun with the butt upwards.

Lizzie Vidler said that on the Sunday afternoon she was sitting at her window, facing the door of Aird's house, and she did not see anyone go to the door before the prisoner. She saw him running up the hill with his hat and coat off, giving her the impression that he was mad. When Mr. Aird took the gun out he held it in a striking attitude by the barrel, with the butt over his shoulder, and afterwards saw the prisoner run at the door with his head and burst it open. Mr. Aird did not point the gun at either of the men.

Charles Cox, a milkman, said the he was going up the hill on Sunday afternoon, and he saw the prisoner walking up very fast, passing him. Prisoner had his coat, waistcoat and hat off. He was alone at the time, but there was a young man behind. When witness reached the top prisoner was outside the Valiant Sailor. He saw him "go at" the door with his head and burst it open. Prisoner then took his shirt off and threw it in the road. Witness did not see any more, as he drove on towards Capel.

At this stage of the proceeding it was understood that Mr. Mowll would ask the magistrates would grant summonses for perjury against the witnesses for the defence, and Mr. Payne, before examining them, cautioned them before proceeding.

William Milton was the first witness called, and he still adhered to the statements made by him at the previous hearing. The gun was produced and he held the gun in the way which he said Aird held it, viz., with both hands, as if ready to raise it to his shoulder to fire. He was positive that he saw a cap on the gun, and saw the flash when the hammer fell.

Henry Hayes, better known as "Buck Taylor" was the next witness. He gave his evidence in a very clear manner. He examined the gun and said it was the one used by Aird on the day in question. He positively swore that although he was fifteen yards from Aird he could see that the gun was only half cocked, and that was the reason it did not go off. There were two young men at Aird's door when they went up, and they knocked at the door, although they said they had tried before and did not think it would be much good. Half a second after they knocked, they left the door, and one second and a half after ther were out of sight. He was very positive as to the time it took for the young men to get out of sight. Neither the prisoner nor any of them knocked at the door; it was the two young men.

Alfred Allen, a seafaring-looking man, living at Folkestone, said that he carried the prisoner's things. When he reached the Valiant Sailor he saw Aird with a poker. He was about 30 or 40 yards away when the scuffle took place, but he did not see the prisoner burst the door open. He denied, as the two previous witnesses had done, that the prisoner took off his shirt. He saw several young men on the hill. After a great deal of hesitation witness stated that he did not see two young men going away from the Valiant Sailor. He went up the path and the young men might have gone the other way.

The magistrates retired for a short time, and upon their return said that they found the prisoner guilty on all three charges, and they fined him 2s. 6d. for wilful damage, 4s. damages and 3s. 6d. costs for bursting open the door. For assaulting the Police Constable they sentenced him to two months' hard labour, and for assaulting Mr. and Mrs. Aird, one month's hard labour. The costs in each of the assault cases amounted to £1 5s. 6d., and in default of payment, 14 days' hard labour.

The court was crowded, and at times during the evidence for the defence some applause was attempted, but instantly suppressed.

It was understood at the conclusion of the case that the magistrates had granted summonses for perjury against Hayes or Taylor, Milton and Allen.

 

Folkestone Chronicle 24 October 1885.

Saturday, October 17th: Before The Mayor, Alderman Caister, Dr. Bateman, Colonel De Crespigny, J. Holden and J. Fitness Esqs.

W. Collard, W. Wicks, and H. Sharp were charged with trespassing in search of rabbits on land in the occupation of W. Aird.

Mr. Aird, a farmer, residing at the Valiant Sailor, said he occupied Lime Kiln Farm. On the 12th inst, about 10-30 a.m., he saw three boys coming along. They passed his house and went across to the cliff. He went upstairs and watched them, and saw them go towards the edge of the cliff. He followed them and saw Wicks and Collard stooping down at a rabbit hole. He saw Wicks put a net in his pocket, and one was left behind. They had a ferret with them, which they also left behind. He took all their names. They afterwards went to his house and threatened him because he would not give up the ferret.

The defendants were each fined 10s., and 10s. costs, or 14 days' hard labour.

 

Folkestone Express 24 October 1885.

Saturday, October 17th: Before The Mayor, Alderman Caister, Dr. Bateman, Colonel De Crespigny, J. Holden and J. Fitness Esqs.

William Collard, William Wicks, and Henry Sharp were charged with trespassing in search of rabbits on land in the occupation of William Aird.

Mr. Aird, a farmer, residing at the Valiant Sailor, said he occupied Lime Kiln Farm. On the 12th inst., about 10.30 a.m., he saw four men coming along. They passed his house and went across to the cliff. He saw something moving in the side pocket of one of them. He went upstairs and watched them, and saw them go towards the edge of the cliff. He followed them, and saw Wicks and Collard stooping down at a rabbit hole. He saw Wicks put a net in his pocket, and one was left behind. They had a ferret with them, which they also left behind. He took all their names. They afterwards went to his house and threatened him because he would not give up the ferret.

Charles Vidler, a man in the employ of Mr. Aird, said he saw Wicks and Collard, each at a rabbit hole, on the edge of the cliff. He produced a ferret which was taken from one of the holes after the men had left.

The defendants were each fined 10s. and 10s. costs, or 14 days' hard labour.

Wednesday, October 21st: Before Captain Carter, J. Fitness and J. Holden Esqs.

William Birchett and Frederick Southern were charged with trespassing in search of game on land in the occupation of Mr. Aird.

William Aird said on the 14th of October in the afternoon he saw defendants on the edge of the cliff, putting up a net. Birchett had the net, and Southern handed him a ferret. There were other men watching. He ran up to them and they made off, taking the net and ferret with them. He had cautioned Southern many times during the past year.

George Burgess gave corroborative evidence.

Defendants were fined 10s. and 10s. costs, or 14 days', and cautioned.

 

Holbein's Visitors' List 22 December 1886.

Local News.

A number of naughty people went skating on Sunday on the pond by the Valiant Sailor. Contrary to all precedents quoted in Sunday School books, the ice did not break and drown them all.

 

Folkestone Express 23 April 1887.

Saturday, April 16th: Before The Mayor, Colonel De Crespigny, Surgeon General Gilbourne, General Armstrong, W. Brooks and W. Wightwick EsqsWalter Fuller and William Marsh were summoned for assaulting William Aird on the 11th April.

Complainant, the landlord of the Valiant Sailor, said on Monday afternoon his shepherd called him and said a dog had been worrying the sheep. He went to the meadow, where there were several ewes and lambs, and he saw a dog come out of the fold. He told Fuller to take the dog away, and he said he shouldn't. He said it was Mr. Downing's dog. He told him if he did not take the dog away he should shoot it. Complainant then secured the dog by means of a handkerchief, when Fuller knocked him down and jumped on to him. He got away with assistance, and was taking defendant along when Marsh came up and kicked him, and they then both ran away together.

In reply to Fuller, Mr. Aird said he could not say whether he was asleep or not when he went up to him and asked his name. He did not hit him on the nose.

Fredk. Southon, a gardener, said he was near the Valiant Sailor on Monday afternoon and saw Fuller knock Mr. Aird down and jump on him. Mr. Aird was trying to lead the dog away with a handkerchief. Fuller knelt on Mr. Aird. Defendant hit him on the ear. He also saw Marsh inside the Valiant Sailor.

William Graves, defendant's shepherd, said he called his master to keep defendant's dog away from the lambs. While Mr. Aird had the dog in a handkerchief, Fuller hit him and rolled him over. "Jacob" rolled them over, and then his master got on top of Fuller. Fuller made Mr. Aird's nose bleed. The two men then started and ran down the hill. Marsh persuaded Fuller to go away. He did not see Marsh do anything.

The Bench fined Fuller 10s. and 10s. costs, or 14 days' imprisonment, and Marsh 5s. and 9s. costs, or seven days', and allowed a week in which to pay.

 

Folkestone Express 11 June 1887.

Advertisement.

Caution!

Notice To Trespassers. Any person found trespassing on the land of W. Aird at Hawkinge, Capel, and in the Borough of Folkestone with dogs or guns will be prosecuted.

 

Folkestone Chronicle 18 June 1887.

Saturday, June 11th: Before Capt. Crowe, Alderman Banks, H.W. Poole and J. Brooke Esqs.

George Wardie, labourer, was charged with trespassing on land belonging to W. Aird in search of conies.

Mr. Aird, landlord of the Valiant Sailor, and occupier of Limekiln Farm, said on 31st May about two o'clock in the afternoon the defendant, with two or three other men, came into his house and asked permission to go ratting on his land. He refused them and they then went round the back of the house and commenced ferreting, and afterwards they went near his limekiln lodge and one of his men told him they killed a rabbit.

John Southen said he saw defendant put a ferret in a hole near the scavenging yard, and a rabbit ran out. It was on Mr. Aird's land. The dogs ran after the rabbit and caught it. There were four men together and one took the rabbit.

John Trent, in the employ of Mr. Aird, saw the defendant near the smallpox hospital put a ferret in a hole and he afterwards caught a rabbit there.

Defendant said he went ratting and Mr. Aird gave him permission. He killed 17 or 18 rats. A rabbit was started, but he did not know anything about that.

Fined 10s., with costs 11s., or 14 days'. Allowed a week to pay.

 

Folkestone Express 18 June 1887.

Saturday, June 11th: Before Capt. Crowe, Alderman Banks, H.W. Poole and J.H. Brooke Esqs.

Michael Ward was charged with trespassing in search of game on land in the occupation of Mr. Aird.

Complainant said he saw the defendant with a ferret on his land near the rubbish heap.

In reply to defendant, complainant denied that he gave him permission to ferret on his farm.

John Southon said he saw defendant put the ferret into a hole. He was working for Mr. Pilcher near the scavenge yard. He saw a rabbit run towards the road; the dogs ran after it, turned it, and caught it near the scavenge heap. There were four men and one of them took the rabbit.

Defendant said they killed 17 rats. He knew nothing about a rabbit.

John Friend, in the employ of Mr. Aird, said he saw the defendant on the 31st May near the hospital. Four other men were with him and two or three dogs. He saw the dogs catch a rabbit which was started at the back of the hospital.

Defendant was fined 10s. and 11s. costs, or 14 days', and allowed a week to pay.

 

Folkestone Chronicle 10 September 1887.

Local News:

George Daice was charged at the Elham Petty Sessions on Monday with stealing a dog from William Aird, a cow keeper and proprietor of the Valiant Sailor at the top of Folkestone Hill. The value of the dog was £1. It appears that Percy Southern, in the employ of the prosecutor, was at the Warren Inn about six o'clock on Saturday morning, when he saw the prisoner there. He observed that he had a dog in a basket, and after a few words had passed between Southern and the prisoner, the former, thinking that it looked like his master's dog, went to the prosecutor and asked him if he had missed the animal. A search was made and it was found to be missing. Aitd immediately sent information to the Folkestone police, with the result that enquiries were made, and the defendant was subsequently found by Police constable Scott at the Tramway Tavern in Folkestone. The prisoner had the animal, which was only two months old, in his arms. When questioned by the magistrates the prisoner said that he did not intend to steal the dog. When he saw it, it had evidently lost it's way and he picked it up. Mr. Kirkpatrick said the Bench entertained some doubt as to whether the prisoner really did mean to steal the dog, and he would therefore be given the benefit of the doubt, and the case would be dismissed.

 

Folkestone Chronicle 17 November 1888.

Friday, 9th November: Before Alderman Banks, W. Wightwick Esq., and Major H.W. Poole.

Edwin Rennie, a youth, was charged with assaulting Nellie Harriet Aird on the previous day.

The complainant stated that she lived with her father at the Valiant Sailor, and was fifteen years of age. She was coming down the hill towards Folkestone about 9.30 yesterday morning, when she met the prisoner on the footpath which leads from the mile-stone on the left hand side of the main road. He caught hold of her waist and pinched her. The prisoner did not say anything to her. She screamed and called for assistance. A man came and the prisoner ran away.

A Corporation labourer named Charles Alfred Shrubsole stated that he was in the main road when he heard the complainant scream. He ran up the bank to her assistance and saw the prisoner running away. The girl was crying. Shrubsole shouted to a man on the scavenging heap, with the result that two or three men caught him.

Sergt. Crampton, of the K.C.C., deposed that he was at the Valiant Sailor on Thursday morning when the complainant came up the road crying. She said a man had assaulted her. He went down the hill and saw the prisoner in custody of three men. He said he did not intend to assault the complainant. He was going down the path, and in making room for the girl to pass he slipped. He put his hand out to save himself, which caused him to catch hold of the complainant's side. When the girl screamed he ran away, but afterwards wished he hadn't done so. The prisoner made no reply when charged at the police station.

The complainant's father stated that the prisoner told him that he didn't mean anything, and that he was sorry he ran away. He had been out for a day's spree.

The prisoner made a similar statement to the Bench as he had made to the Sergeant, adding that he saw the men in the road and that it would not be likely he should attempt to commit an assault when they were close to him.

Alderman Banks said the Bench were of the unanimous opinion that the prisoner did commit the assault, and fined him £2 and 12s costs, or one month's hard labour.

 

Folkestone Express 17 November 1888.

Friday, November 9th: Before Alderman Banks, W. Wightwick, and H.W. Poole Esqs.

Edwin Rennie was charged with assaulting Nellie Harriett Aird on the previous day.

Complainant, the daughter of the landlord of the Valiant Sailor Inn, said she was 15 years of age last birthday. On Thursday morning about half past nine she was coming down the hill alone from her father's house towards the town. She met the prisoner at the top of the footpath near the mile-stone. She was only a few yards from the road when she met the prisoner coming up the footpath. He caught hold of her waist, gave her rather a hard pinch, and then let go. He caught hold of her so suddenly that it frightened her. He said nothing to her, and did nothing else. She said to him "How dare you insult me so?" She could not say whether he made any reply, but he laughed. She could not say which hand he caught hold of her with, nor did she know whether she screamed out or not. There was a man over the bank with a horse. She called to him, and he went to her assistance. Prisoner ran off when he saw the man coming. She returned home, but was not quite sure whether she went at once. She had never seen the prisoner before to her knowledge.

Charles Alfred Shrubsole, a labourer in the employ of the Corporation, said he was near the mile-stone on the Dover Road about half past nine. He heard a girl cry out, and saw the man running away. The girl screamed, and he went up the bank to her assistance. He saw the prisoner running towards the scavenge heap. Witness called out to a man on the scavenge heap, who stopped prisoner and brought him back. The complainant said the man had interfered with her. The girl was about three rods from the road.

Sergt. Crampton, of the Kent County Police, said he was at the Valiant Sailor, in Dover Road, on Thursday morning. He saw complainant coming up the road crying. She told her mother she had been assaulted by a man. He went down the road with Mr. Aird, and met the prisoner in the custody of three men. Prisoner said he slipped and caught hold of complainant to save himself from falling, and he wished he had not run away. They brought him to Folkestone police station where he was charged, and made no reply. The complainant was very much agitated and hysterical.

Mr. Wm. Aird, father of complainant, said the prisoner told him he did not mean anything and did not know what made him run away. He said he had plenty of work to do, but he was out for a day's spree, and had made a spree of it.

Prisoner said he was going up the path and met Miss Aird coming down. He could see the men in the road, and it was not likely that he would assault her. As he was passing, he slipped and caught hold of her with his hand. He intended no insult.

The Bench considered that the prisoner did purposely assault the complainant, and fined him £2 and 12s. costs, or one month's hard labour.

 

Folkestone Visitors' List 14 October 1891.

Sandy Macpherson writes as follows: "It wis on Wednesday last, about sivin ye ken, Jock and I wis up tae the Valiant Sailor. There wis gran' doins, mon, I tell ye. Mr. Aird and Mr. Marsh atween 'em gi'ed a Harvest Supper to ower 50 – an' sic a supper! Tam Taylor an' wee Chip, and Mr. Harnett an' Mr. Forsyth a' attendit. Tam sang a' his best sangs, Mr. Harnett gi'ed us a bonnie sang ca'ed "Phere did ye get that hat?", fairly bringin' doon the hoose, an' Mr. Forsyth accompanist. Then we toasted Mr. Aird, oor chairman, an' Mr. Marsh, oor vice-chairman wi' three times three an' musical honours, an' a' ga'ed hame aboot twa singin' "Auld Lang Syne". Eh, mon, but ye should ha' been there."

 

Folkestone Express 11 August 1894.

Local News.

Last week, during the night, some tramps broke into the house of Mr. Aird, Valiant Sailor, Dover Road, Folkestone, and completely ransacked the house, carrying away several articles. Two men were apprehended at Canterbury, and pawn tickets for some of the articles were found on them.

 

Folkestone Express 1 December 1894.

Local News.

At the Kent Assizes Frederick White, 21, labourer, and Thomas York, 18, labourer, were indicted for burglariously breaking and entering the dwelling house of William Aird, and stealing three coats on July 22nd. Prosecutor is the landlord of the Valiant Sailor Inn, Hawkinge (sic), and found on the morning of July 23rd that his house had been entered and three coats stolen. Both prisoners had been previously convicted, and sentences of three years' penal servitude were passed on each of them.

 

Folkestone Visitors' List 16 October 1895.

Local News.

We regret to record a serious accident which occurred on Monday evening, and unhappily attended with fatal results. It appears that Mrs. Aird, wife of Mr. W. Aird, of the Valiant Sailor Inn, Dover Road, accompanied by a son and daughter, were driving to Folkestone. When proceeding down the steep incline, the horse, for some reason or another which cannot now be explained, became unmanageable and bolted. The turn in the road near Killick's Farm is known to be a most dangerous part of the highway, and it was here that the accident happened. The trap, it is said, was overturned, and Mrs. Aird was thrown heavily to the ground, as was also her son. Both were rendered unconscious, but were soon afterwards conveyed home, which was only a couple of hundred yards distant. Medical assistance was called as quickly as possible, but Mrs. Aird never regained consciousness, and expired within an hour of the accident. Young Mr. Aird, up till last evening, was in a very critical condition, not having regained consciousness, and but little hope is entertained for his recovery. The unfortunate young man, in addition to the shock received by having been thrown out, has had his head and face terribly mangled – to such an extent, in fact, as to be almost unrecognisable. Miss Aird received a severe shaking, but sustained no serious injuries. The injured persons having been borne home, the horse and damaged trap were next looked after. It was found that two of the horse's legs had been fractured, and to end it's misery it was shot as soon as possible. Mrs. Aird was well known and much respected throughout Folkestone and the district, and much sympathy is felt for Mr. Aird in his sore and sudden bereavement. The East Kent Coroner has been informed of the occurrence, and fuller facts will no doubt be adduced at the inquest.

 

Folkestone Chronicle 18 October 1895.

Local News.

We beg to offer our sincere sympathy to Mr. Aird in his sad bereavement, and we are only echoing the sentiments of the whole of the town. The story of the sad accident by which he lost his wife is reported in another column, and will appeal to every heart. We are heartily glad to hear that his son, Mr. Thomas Aird, is progressing favourably.

The inquest took place at Mr. Aird's house on Tuesday. The time was fixed for 4 o'clock, and the jury, who had had to come some distance, were in good time, but had to wait some time before the arrival of the Coroner, Mr. R.M. Mercer, of Canterbury. Although he kept everyone waiting for some time, he did not think it necessary to make any apology, notwithstanding time was of value to the jury, most of whom had been called from their work.

Mr. Mercer strode into the room with the air of an autocrat, and proceeded to swear the jury. Three representatives of the Press were present, and one of them asked to Coroner if he would permit them to sit at his back to enable them to report the enquiry. He absolutely refused, and compelled them to stand just in the doorway, behind the police and the door. It was nearly dark, and the only light was a lamp on teh table. Therefore they were unable even to see, and scarcely able to hear a word.

Under these circumstances one of the reporters stepped a little past the door. "Will that reporter get back" said Mr. Mercer, "I will not have him between me and my jury".

The gentleman in question respectfully pointed out that he and his brother journalists were there in the interests of the public, and they had already asked if they might sit behind him, where there was plenty of room. "I have already told you I will not allow it" said the Coroner. As it was impossible to see to write, Mr. Aird was good enough to bring a lighted candle, and held it himself, so that the reporters should be able to give some report.

It is difficult to realise that such a thing should occur in an English Court – it savours too much of Russia. In the Folkestone Coroner's Court we have ever received the utmost courtesy, both from Mr. Minter and Mr. Haines, and we must say we fail to see why Mr. Mercer should have cast such indignities on the Press. We are sure the public will not be slow to resent such conduct on the part of an official towards those who really attended the inquest to represent them.

It is with heartfelt regret that we have to record the death of Mrs. Aird, wife of Mr. William Aird, of the Valiant Sailor Inn, Dover Road.

It appears that the deceased left her home at about 6 p.m. on Monday in a two wheeled cart, accompanied by her daughter and son. They descended the hill, the son leading the horse. By some means which cannot be explained, the headpiece of the harness came off, and the horse bolted. The son hung on to the horse as long as he could, but was compelled to leave go, being pushed against a fence. The animal continued it's headlong career, and Mrs. Aird was thrown out into the road, and subsequently Miss Aird also.

Mr. F.J. Weston and others who were passing promptly rendered assistance. They found the poor lady lying in the road unconscious, and placed her in a passing cart and conveyed her home. In the meantime the son had been found, and was seen to be much injured. He was conscious, and able to walk, but before reaching home lost consciousness.

Dr. Henry Lewis was summoned, and found Mrs. Aird had sustained a severe fracture of the skull. She lingered until 8, when she passed away. Mr. Thomas Aird, the son, remained unconscious until Tuesday afternoon, when he gradually recovered consciousness.

Inquest

The inquest was held at the home of the deceased on Tuesday before Mr. R.M. Mercer, Coroner for East Kent. We regret we are unable to give as full an account as we could wish, but the Coroner absolutely refused to give any accommodation to the representatives of the Press, but compelled them to stand in semi-darkness at the door. It is only by the kindness of Mr. Aird, who was food enough to hold a candle, that we are able to give any report at all.

The jury chose Mr. Seath as their foreman. After they were sworn and had viewed the body, Mr. William Aird, the husband of the deceased, identified the body as that of his wife, Harriett Kate Aird, aged 46.

He stated that he assisted to harness the horse, and saw it was all right. His wife, son, and daughter left the house at 9 minutes past six to proceed to Folkestone Junction to catch the train to Canterbury, where the son was going to a situation. They left in an ordinary business two wheeled cart. About five minutes after they left, someone came and told him of the accident. He went down the road and found some people bringing up the deceased in a cart. Doctor Lewis was sent for and arrived in about an hour. His wife died at 10 minutes past 8. He had had the horse six years. It ran into a bank and broke two legs, and had to be shot.

Mr. Frederick Jasper Weston said he was descending the hill, with his man, in a trap. They saw a trap, and two people in it. They trotted past it, and on reaching the chalk pit at the corner they heard shouting, and a horse and cart coming down. The horse was galloping hard, and they were unable to do anything. It ran on the bank, and appeared to cling to the cart for a time. The cart seemed to go over, but it was not so. It dashed on again, empty, round the corner. They heard the voice of the daughter calling for help. The deceased was lying in the road. He did not see the son. The daughter said something about his lying dead up the road, or words to that effect. He did not see the horse bolt. He did not see the reins, nor did he see anyone leading the horse, or holding on to the reins, as it was too dark. He saw the occupants thrown out. Mrs. Aird, when he saw her, was unconscious. The deceased was put into a passing cart and conveyed home. He met the son walking home, two men having hold of his arms.

Miss Florence Kate Aird, daughter of the deceased, said she thought the blinkers and the bridle came off the horse. Her mother had hold of the reins. The horse bolted, and her brother hung on for some time, but he dropped. Her mother fell out first, but witness fell out further on. Her brother let go because the horse ran up against the fence. She sat still, and was thrown out, but she could not remember how. She thought her brother tried to put the bit into the horse's mouth, when the blinkers fell off, and frightened the horse.

Dr. Henry Lewis said deceased died from fracture of the skull, and consequent injury to the brain. It was fractured at the right side, near the vertex, manifestly, and in all probability the base of the brain was also fractured. He was not present when she died. When he first saw her she was in a state of collapse. He said he would return at 10 to perform an operation if there was a reaction.

The jury returned a verdict of Accidental Death.

Mr. H.J. Atkins was summoned as a witness, but not called. He informed our representative that he was proceeding up the hill about a quarter past six in a cart, when he heard a woman cry out "Tom, stop the horse". He jumped out of the cart, but just as he got up to a cart that was coming down (Mrs. Aird's) the young man that was holding the horse let go, and it ran away. He ran back, and saw the man lying there. He had the top part of the head-piece in his hand. He proceeded to the Valiant Sailor, and told Mr. Aird that an accident had occurred. Mr. Aird told him his wife and son had just left in a cart. They brought them up to the house.

Another witness of the accident said he assisted the son home. At first he was conscious, but before reaching home he lost consciousness.

We regret to state that the bridle, reins, whip, two cushions, a new Macintosh rug, and a brown paper parcel that was in the cart at teh time of the accident are missing. Surely no-one is such a miscreant as to steal the things under the sad circumstances, although it looks like it.

 

Folkestone Express 19 October 1895.

Local News.

On Monday evening a trap accident, which unhappily resulted in the death of Mrs. Aird, wife of William Aird, of the Valiant Sailor Inn, and serious injury to his son, Mr. Thomas Aird, took place. It appears that Mrs. Aird and her daughter set out to accompany the young man to the station, he being due at Canterbury, where he was about to enter a situation in a grocery establishment. His box of clothing, which weighed about a hundredweight, was placed in a light cart, and Mrs. and Miss Aird got up to ride. Mr. William Aird had previously examined the harness, and saw that it was alright, and directed his son to lead the horse down the hill, the road being steep and winding. They left the Valiant Sailor at nine minutes past six, and they had got some little distance down the road, when, in some mysterious way, the horse was frightened, and started off. It appears that the headgear had come loose, but how it happened is not likely to be ascertained. Mr. Thomas Aird was knocked down, and the wheel of the cart went over him. Soon after, the wheel of the cart went up the bank, and the mark is plainly visible in the grass, but the cart did not turn over. Mrs. Aird was thrown out, and appears to have fallen heavily on her head, fracturing her skull and injuring her brain. A moment later Miss Aird was tossed out, and then the horse, which was a remarkably quiet animal, and had been driven for years by Mrs. Aird, dashed on until it reached the sharp bend near the lime kilns, where the poor brute went with such force against the bank as to break two legs – one hind and one fore. One wheel of the cart was much damaged. The heavy box and other articles remained in the cart. When Miss Aird was able to get up, she went back a little away, to pick up what she thought was a wrap, but discovered that it was her mother. Mr. Thomas Aird, with exertion, was able to get up and walk, and endeavoured to assist his sister, but he fainted or became unconscious. Information was at once sent to Mr. Aird, who sent assistance, and Mrs. Aird was taken back to her home in a cart which was passing. The young man was also carried home, but Miss Aird was able to walk. She attributed her safety to the fact that her hair was in large pads at the back of her head and broke her fall. Dr. Henry Lewis and Br. Bateman attended the sufferers. Mrs. Aird died soon after eight o'clock. Her son remained unconscious till the morning, and at midday was only semi-conscious. His nose and face are much injured, but it is hoped that no bones are broken. Mrs. Aird was 46 years of age, and she leaves a large family. Most travellers on the Dover Road knew her as an admirable hostess.

Inquest.

The inquest was held at the Valiant Sailor on Tuesday afternoon, before Mr. R.M. Mercer, the County Coroner. Owing to the discourteous attitude of the Coroner towards the reporters, it was difficult for them to obtain an accurate account of the proceedings. They were all huddled together in semi-darkness in the doorway, and but for the kindness of Mr. Aird, who stood in the passage and held a candle, would have been unable to write a line. From their position they could see an hear little, but the particulars were subsequently supplied by the witnesses, and by their assistance we are enabled to give the following report of the enquiry:-

William Aird said he was the husband of deceased – Harriett Kate Aird. Her age was 46. He got the cart ready and assisted his man to harness the horse. One of the reins, which were double ones, was buckled singly, and he re-adjusted it and put it right. The cart was a two wheel business cart. It was nine minutes past six when they left home. His son was going to Canterbury, and intended to catch the 6.32 train. The deceased was going to drive him to the station, and was then going on to see Dr. Lewis. He carefully examined the harness before they started, and was in fact more particular than usual. He had had the horse six years. About five minutes after they had gone, someone came and told him that a horse had run away down the hill. He went down the road, where he found a crowd of people round the deceased. He put her in a greengrocer's cart and brought her home. She died at ten minutes past eight. He sent down to look for the horse's bridle, but it could not be found. It was about 75 yards above the chalk pit where his son was knocked down. He could not say whether anything came off the horse's head. Mr. Weston, who was driving down the hill, saw the whole thing. The horse's legs were broken, the right hind leg in several places, and he had been obliged to shoot it. His daughter was in the cart with his wife.

Frederick Jasper Weston said on Monday evening he was driving down the hill, when he passed two people in a cart. They had just reached the top of the hill. His man trotted on till they got nearly down to the chalk pit, when they heard voices shouting. He looked behind, and saw a horse and cart coming down the hill, and when he saw which way it was coming, he tried to draw aside out of the way. He saw, however, he could not do anything, and the horse galloped by, just missing him. The horse was galloping hard. He saw two women in the cart, but he did not know who they were then. The cart ran into the bank and seemed to stop for a minute, and then it seemed to go over, but he did not think it did. The occupants were thrown into the road. It was nearly dark, and they were about twenty yards ahead. The cart seemed to pause for about two seconds, and then the pony dashed ahead round the corner out of sight. Miss Aird then got up. When the accident happened they were about twenty yards below him, and there was no time to do anything. He found Mrs. Aird in the road, and her daughter stood up crying for help. The son was not visible. He did not see anything of the son, but when he helped Miss Aird to rise, she said her brother was on the top of the hill, dead, or some expression of that sort. He did not see the horse bolt; he only saw it after it had bolted. He could not remember the exact time, but it was soon after six. He could not see whether there were any reins. He got help, and had Mrs. Aird lifted into a van that was passing. He could not recognise who it was at the time, although he knew Mrs. Aird perfectly well. There was no-one leading the horse or holding on to the reins. When they were thrown out he went to them at once. The deceased laid in the road unconscious, but Miss Aird was conscious and got up. He and his man were not alone. There was another man in the road, and they procured assistance, and placed deceased in a van that was going up the road, and took her home. He went part of the way back, and saw young Aird walking, or, rather, being helped up the hill by two men, one on each side of him. He was led back to his home with the van. Witness asked if he could render any help. He did not think Aird was unconscious. He could not tell how the horse started. After the occupants were thrown out the horse and cart disappeared round the corner.

Florence Kate Aird said: I think the bit fell out, and my brother went to put it in, when the blinkers came off. I have never had such a thing happen before as the bridle coming off. Mother had the reins. My brother clung to the horse and hung on for about a dozen yards, and then he dropped, and mother was thrown out. I was not thrown out then. She dropped the reins before she fell. I think the cart pushed my brother up against the fence. I sat still. I held mother and told her to sit still. I think I was thrown out directly after into the road. I don't know how I fell. I was unconscious for a minute. My brother tried to put the bit in, when the blinkers came off, and that, I think, frightened the horse. The bridle has not been found since.

Dr. Henry Lewis said death was caused by a fracture of the skull and consequent injury to the brain. The skull was fractured on the right side near the vertex. In all probability the base of the brain was also injured. He said when he saw her that she might not be alive when he came again at ten. She was in a state of great collapse, but if there had been sufficient strength remaining, he was prepared to perform an operation in order to relieve the possible pressure on the brain.

The jury returned a verdict of Accidental Death.

Another eyewitness, named Mr. K.J. Atkins, gave the following account of the accident. He said about a quarter past six he was coming up the hill with his horse and cart, accompanied by his wife, when he heard a woman's voice shout "Tom, stop the horse". He jumped out, and when he reached the ground he saw the horse break away from the young man. He ran back, but the horse was gone, and he found the young man lying on the ground with the bridle and the blinkers in his hand. He went on to the Valiant Sailor, and got Mr. Aird to go down.

The whip, two cushions, a Mackintosh rug, and a brown paper parcel, which were in the cart when the horse bolted, are missing, and no trace whatever can be discovered of them.

 

Folkestone Herald 19 October 1895.

Local News.

Folkestone was startled on Monday evening by the announcement that a terrible occurrence had taken place on the Dover Hill. Unhappily, the rumour proved only too true. Mrs. Aird, wife of Mr. William Aird, of the Valiant Sailor, accompanied by her son and daughter, was driving a horse and two-wheeled cart steadily down the hill, when something happened to the bridle. The bit became detached from it's right position, the blinkers dropped off, the horse became frightened, and bolted off at a fearful speed, ultimately coming into contact with a bank at the side of the road. The impact was very great, and this may be readily appreciated when we state that all the occupants of the vehicle were thrown out. The deceased lady sustained a severe fracture of the skull, and injury to the brain. She was rendered unconscious, and died in that condition a few hours afterwards. The son was also severely injured, and was at once led to his home. Miss Aird, marvellous to relate, escaped comparatively unhurt, and was able to give her evidence before the Coroner on Wednesday afternoon. Dr. Henry Lewis was at once appraised of what had occurred, and arrived at the Valiant Sailor with praiseworthy promptitude.

Mr. Jasper Weston, of Folkestone, was driving down the hill, and was able to render assistance. The horse was so severely injured that it had to be shot on the spot. Strange to say the bridle, cushions, brown paper parcel, and Mackintosh rug have disappeared, and have not been seen or heard of since. Thus, it is supposed some thieves, taking advantage of the excitement and darkness, have carried off this property. Whether the county police have exerted themselves at the time in this matter we are unable to state. Great and genuine sympathy is felt for Mr. Aird and his family in the great misfortune that has fallen upon them.

Mrs. Aird was a Miss Killick, and from her infancy up to the time when she was married to her husband resided at the little farm house at the bend of the road.

The inquest was held at the Valiant Sailor, before Mr. R.M. Mercer, the county Coroner, who, however, offered scant courtesy to the members of the press. The inquiry took place in a small room – the best available for the purpose.

"Who are you?" said the Coroner, addressing a reporter. "I have the honour to be a representative of the press. And I have two colleagues with me". "Then you withdraw to that door. In any case I shall allow only one reporter in the room", at the same time assuming the air of a Russian despot. With trembling and fear, and with the prospect of committal to the Siberian mines, the pressman faltered. "There is a seat there, sir. May I take that?" (indicating that there was accommodation in the bay of a window). For his reward he was told to get to the door. And so the inquiry opened, and three reporters might have been seen in a draughty and dark passage, their necks strained ostrich-like to hear the depositions of the witnesses. Again the reporter, running the gauntlet of two stalwart policemen, gained an entrance to the temporary court of justice, and had the impudence to place his notebook on the table and write down notes of the evidence.

"Dear me, what inquisitive fellows these reporters are. I thought I ordered you to that door?" said the autocrat. Still the mines of Siberia had no terrors for that reporter, and he said "Well, sir, we thought, under these trying circumstances, you would extend that courtesy to the press that is offered in all the Courts in England. It is only out of my great respect for Mr. Aird and sympathy with him in his loss, that I do not protest against your conduct in stronger terms. The Press, in your eyes, is nothing". And there was nothing to do but to obey, and get back again to "that door". With notebook in hand, and in darkness, the reporters endeavoured to carry out their duties. Mr. Aird, bowed down with the weight of a great affliction, without any prompting, produced a tallow candle, and held it in such a position as to enable the press men to do their duty. And his kindness and consideration were much appreciated. Mr. Mercer is a great man – an intellectual giant it may be. But he has yet to learn good manners. His conduct contrasts strongly with that of Mr. John Minter, who is courteous and obliging to a degree. Mr. Mercer's autocratic ways might frighten some people, but there is at least one reporter who is not frightened to challenge his methods. We are still in old England – the land of the free. Of course there is a tradition that the Coroner can do almost as he likes in his own Court, but from English gentlemen we expect an example of courtesy and good breeding. Whether these excellent qualities were exercised at Tuesday's inquest we leave the public to judge.

We give a brief summary of the evidence, which our reporter gleaned from the jury at the end of the inquiry.

Mr. Aird said his wife's age was 46, and that on the night of the sad occurrence his wife was proceeding to Folkestone accompanied by her son and daughter. Before they started from home, witness looked at the bridle and saw that the horse was harnessed quite correctly. A few minutes after they had started on their journey down the hill, someone informed witness that an accident had taken place. He at once proceeded to the spot and found a crowd gathered round deceased. A greengrocer's cart happened to be passing, and with assistance he placed his wife in it and had her driven home. Witness at once sent for medical assistance, but in spite of everything possible being done she died at ten minutes past eight. The horse sustained injuries and it had to be shot.

Mr. Frederick Jasper Weston said he was down the hill and passed a one-horse cart containing two persons. Soon afterwards he heard shouting and cries for help, and almost at the same time a horse galloped by and ran with the cart into the bank. The vehicle was upset, he thought, but anyhow the occupants were thrown out violently. Witness found Mrs. Aird in the road, and her daughter stood up crying for help. He did not see the son, but on rendering assistance to Miss Aird, that lady said her brother was on the top of the hill, and she thought he was dead. It was dark, and at the time of the accident, soon after six. He procured help. When witness went up the hill he found young Aird being led to his home.

Florence Kate Aird said she thought the bit fell out and that the blinkers came off. Mother had the reins. My brother tried to cling to the horse. He dropped, and then my mother was thrown out. Witness was not thrown out then. I sat still, and told mother to do likewise. Witness did not know how she fell. Her brother was pushed by the cart against the fence. She thought the horse was frightened by the blinkers falling off.

Dr. Henry Lewis said death was caused by fracture of the skull, and consequent injury to the brain.

After a brief interval, the jury returned a verdict of Accidental Death.

The funeral of the deceased lady took place at the cemetery on Thursday afternoon. There was a large gathering of friends and sympathisers present, several of the shops in Dover Road being closed as a mark of respect. The beautiful coffin was completely covered by a profusion of choice wreaths, kindly sent by a large circle of friends. The funeral arrangements were ably carried out by Mr. Geo. Prebble.

Mr. Aird and family wish to thank their many friends, who have shown them so much kindness and sympathy during their sad bereavement.

 

Folkestone Up To Date 19 October 1895.

Local News.

A gloom was thrown over the town on Tuesday night by the news that Mrs. Aird, wife of Mr. Aird, of the Valiant Sailor, had met with a fatal accident. She left the Valiant Sailor at about six o'clock, in company with some other members of the family, for the purpose of driving to the Junction Station. The horse took fright and dashed down the hill with such force that Mrs. Aird was thrown out near the Lime Kiln corner, and appears to have fractured the skull and injured the brain, from which injuries she died soon after eight o'clock.

 

Sandgate Weekly News 19 October 1895.

Local News.

We regret to record a serious accident which occurred on Monday evening, and unhappily attended with fatal results. It appears that Mrs. Aird, wife of Mr. W. Aird, of the Valiant Sailor Inn, Dover Road, accompanied by a son and daughter, were driving down to Folkestone. When proceeding down the steep incline the horse became unmanageable and bolted. It appears that the head gear had become loose, but how it happened is not likely to be ascertained. Mr. Thomas Aird, who was leading the horse down the hill, hung on to it for about a dozen yards, but was eventually thrown down, and the wheel of the cart went over him. Soon afterwards the cart was run into the bank, but was not overturned. Mrs. and Miss Aird were both thrown out. The former fell heavily on her head, fracturing her skull, and injuring her brain. The horse dashed on until it reached the sharp turn near Killick's Farm, where it rushed into the bank with such force that two of its legs were broken, and it was afterwards destroyed. The accident was witnessed by Mr. Jasper Weston, who immediately went to the unfortunate ladies' assistance. Mrs. Aird was conveyed home, and medical aid was summoned. She died shortly after eight o'clock. Miss Aird was not seriously injured, and was able to walk. Her brother was also able to get up and walk with assistance, but he afterwards became unconscious, and for some time was in a critical condition. He is badly disfigured.

The inquest was held on Tuesday afternoon, when a verdict of "Accidental Death" was returned.

 

Southeastern Gazette 22 October 1895.

Inquest.

On Monday evening Mrs. Aird, wife of Mr. W. Aird, landlord of the Valiant Sailor Inn, Dover Road, in company with her son and daughter, was driving to Folkestone in a two-wheeled trap, and in descending the steep hill leading from the inn the son led the animal down the decline. They had not got far, however, when somehow or other the head-piece of the horse’s harness came off, causing the animal to bolt. The youth clung to the animal and endeavoured to stop it, but he was eventually shaken off, and in turning the corner below the trap was overturned. Mrs. Aird was pitched out on to her head with great violence, and a fractured skull and consequent injury to the brain resulted in her death ensuing an hour or two later without consciousness having been regained. Miss Aird was shaken severely, though she received no very serious injury, but the youth, when thrown off by the infuriated horse, was knocked about so much that for a day or two his life was considered to be in danger. His condition, however, has now improved.

The inquest upon the body of Mrs. Aird was held on Tuesday, by Mr. R, M. Mercer, and a Verdict of "Accidental death" was returned.

 

Folkestone Visitors' List 23 October 1895.

Kaleidoscope.

The funeral of Mrs. Aird, whose sad death we reported last week, took place on Thursday afternoon at the Folkestone cemetery. The funeral was attended by a large gathering of friends and sympathisers, and as a token of respect most of the places of business and private residences in Dover Road had their blinds drawn as the funeral cortege passed. The greatest sympathy is expressed with Mr. Aird and his family, who desire through our columns to convey their thanks to the numerous friends and acquaintances who have expressed sympathy and shown so much kindness in their sore bereavement.

Notes.

Mr. Mercer held an inquest at the Valiant Sailor, near Folkestone, on Tuesday last, and the representatives of the Folkestone press attended as usual.

Mr. Mercer thought fit to turn the reporters out, but it was not this that grieved them. It was the ungentlemanly way in which the Coroner did it that annoyed them. They regret, and we share with them, that a public office should be held by a person who does not appear to be possessed of the elementary rudiments of good manners. No, no, Mr. Mercer, reporters are not dogs, and do not like to be treated as such.

Perhaps the East Kent Coroner does not know the power of the Press, but if the Kentish press was to make a unanimous appeal for the removal of Mr. Mercer from his position as Coroner, he would know then. Perhaps he may as it is.

There is only one Coroner in England who has dared to hold an inquest in private, and this was done in the interests of public morals, in which he was supported by a large section of the public press. Why the gentlemen from Folkestone were treated so uncouthly by Mr. Mercer, we do not know, but they say it is a way he has!

 

Folkestone Express 21 November 1896.

Local News.

On Tuesday three man, named Potts, Mountain, and Karnu, were charged before the Borough Magistrates with being drunk and disorderly at the Valiant Sailor, and Potts was further charged with assaulting P.C. Crapps. From the evidence, it appeared that the defendants were creating a disturbance, being engaged in a drunken quarrel. P.S. Crapps, who was passing at the time, called upon them to desist, when Potts caught him by the throat and struck him in the face, whereupon Crapps drew his truncheon in defence. Corroborative evidence was given by Mr. Aird and his son, and the Bench fined defendants 10s and 15s. 2d costs, or in default one month's hard labour, and Potts was further fined for the assault £1 and 10s. costs, or in default a month, the two sentences to run consecutively.

 

Folkestone Express 3 April 1897.

Local News.

On Monday, at Hythe, before the County Bench, Henry Murton, a labourer, was charged with breaking windows, the property of Mr. W. Aird; with being disorderly and refusing to quit licensed premises, and also with assaulting Mr. W. Aird. From the evidence it appeared that about eight o'clock on the evening of March 28th, prisoner in company with six other men, entered the Valiant Sailor, and called for beer. Prisoner was served with a quart of beer, but, on subsequently asking for more, was refused. He commenced to sing and shout, and Mr. Aird ordered him to leave the house. He went out and commenced to break the windows, doing damage to the extent of £1 2s. 6d. On Mr. Aird going out, prisoner dealt him a violent blow on the side of the head, which knocked him down. The Borough Police were sent for, and he was taken into custody. Prisoner was sentenced to six weeks' hard labour.

 

Folkestone Herald 3 April 1897.

Local News.

The conduct of a Folkestone carter named Henry Murton got him into trouble at the County Police Court at Hythe on Monday last. On the previous day the prisoner, in company with six or seven other men, visited the Valiant Sailor, at Hawkinge, but as they were drunk they were refused liquor by the landlord, Mr. Aird. This gentleman the prisoner personally assaulted, and also smashed a window and refused to quit the premises. He was therefore charged with the latter offence, damaging the window to the amount of 22s. 6d., and assaulting Mr. Aird. Commander Mansell R.N., and Mr. B. Horton were on the Bench. They dismissed the charged of refusing to quit and doing damage, but for the assault the prisoner was sent to gaol with hard labour for six weeks.

 

Folkestone Herald 10 April 1897.

Hythe Division Court.

Thursday, April 8th: Before Sir. F. Maclean, Mr. W. Wightwick, Mr. E.S. Thompson, and Mr. B. Horton.

John Clay, George Weeks, Samuel Murton, George Freezer, and George Tanner, all young men belonging to Folkestone, were summoned by Mr. W. Aird, of the Valiant Sailor, Hawkinge, for being disorderly and refusing to quit his premises when requested to do so on the 28th March.

The circumstances of the case were the same as those deposed to at a previous sitting of the Court, when another defendant, a brother of Murton, was sent to prison for six weeks. The charge against Clay and Tanner was dismissed. The remaining defendants were severally fined £3, and 15s. costs, or 21 days' hard labour in default.

Tanner was then charged with assaulting Mr. Aird at the same time and place. On conviction he was sent to gaol for 21 days' hard labour.

 

Folkestone Chronicle 26 August 1899.

Local News.

Yesterday (Friday) morning, Folkestone Constable Nash, on duty in Dover Road on the extremity of the Borough, noticed a building ablaze, to which he ran, and discovered it to be one of the stables on the farm owned by Mr. Aird, proprietor of the famous house The Valiant Sailor, which stands at the hill-top above the farm, and is the popular coaching house and pleasure seekers' rendezvous between Folkestone and Dover. The stable contained five valuable horses, whose lives would have undoubtedly been sacrificed but for the presence of mind displayed by Constable Nash. His promptitude also saved Mr. Aird from considerable loss in other directions. Having roused everybody on the farm, he got the horses released, and it being impossible to get the fire brigade up to such a distant hill-top at once, every effort was made by all hands with buckets of water – fortunately there was plenty of water near – to extinguish the fire, and they were successful. The fire arose, it has transpired, from a farm-hand going to sleep in the loft and leaving a lighted candle, which in due time burned down and set fire to the straw. Nash luckily chanced to be looking in the direction of the stables at the moment the straw took fire, and his energy and promptness are to be commended.

 

Folkestone Chronicle 7 July 1900.

On Saturday, Charles Bowman, a milkman, pleaded Guilty to embezzling £1 1s., belonging to Mr. Aird, of the Valiant Sailor.

Mr. Aird said Bowman had been in his employ for two years and a half. During that period, it had been ascertained, he had embezzled about £70, but the case of £1 1s. was the only one he was proceeding with.

Prisoner, in mitigation, said he had never been in so serious a position before, having had eleven years' good character from his last place. He was very sorry. It was all through drink. He intended to regain his previous good character.

The Chairman pointed out the seriousness of prisoner's breach of trust, and awarded him two months' hard labour.

 

Folkestone Express 7 July 1900.

Saturday, June 30th: Before J. Fitness, W. Wightwick, and W.G. Herbert Esqs.

Charles E. Bowman pleaded Guilty to a charge of stealing £1 1s. 1d. from his employer, Mr. W. Aird.

Alfred Edward White said he was a licensed victualler, and was landlord of the Martello Tower (sic), in Dover Road. He was supplied with milk by Mr. Aird, and sometimes it was delivered to him by the prisoner. He produced a book, in which an account of the milk was kept, and it was made up once a month. Last month he owed £2 8s. 7d., and paid £1 7s. 6d. to Mr. Aird personally. At the end of the month of May he paid the remainder £1 1s. 1d. to the prisoner, who took the book and never returned it.

William Aird, of the Valiant Sailor, said he was a dairyman, and the prisoner was in his employ about two and a half years. His duty was to deliver milk, take the cash, and account for what he had taken every night. He was paid £1 7s. 6d. by Mr. White, which left a balance of £1 1s. 1d., for which sum the prisoner did not account. When witness asked him what he had been doing, he said he had been "fooling about", and had spent it all. He could not give him a good character, because he had embezzled other sums.

The defendant said he was never in such a position before, but of late he had been drinking. He had previously acted upright and honest.

The Bench informed him they had the power to send him to prison for three months, but as he previous conduct was good, they reduced the sentence to two months.

 

Folkestone Herald 7 July 1900.

Folkestone Police Court.

Charles Bowman, employed by Mr. W. Aird, dairyman, the Valiant Sailor, was charged with stealing £1 1s. 1d. from his master. It appeared that a balance to that amount was due to Mr. Aird by one of his customers, Mr. Alfred White, landlord of the Martello Tower, Dover Road, and that it was duly paid at the end of May to the defendant, but never accounted for.

Sentenced to two months' imprisonment.

 

Folkestone Express 23 February 1901.

Local News.

Dover Hill was the scene of a series of accidents on Friday last. About half past two in the afternoon a man named Hogben, who had been in the employ of Mr. W. Aird, of the Valiant Sailor, for over twenty two years, was walking down the hill, and when opposite the lime kiln he slipped down and broke his leg. The unfortunate man sent a passer-by to the Martello and to the Junction Station for a cab, but without result, as the road was too slippery for the vehicles to ascend, and he was compelled to lie where he had fallen for over two hours before he received any attention. Eventually Mr. Aird was informed of the man's plight, and he at once sent a constable who was with him at the time to bandage the injured limb, following directly after with his wagonette, into which the man was lifted. Mr. Aird was driving, and they had not proceeded 100 yards down the hill when the wagonette suddenly swerved right round, and turning over, threw all the occupants into the road. Mr. Aird's shoulder was dislocated, but the constable, who fell on top of Mr. Aird and the injured occupant, sustained nothing more serious than a shaking. The man Hogben was conveyed to the Victoria Hospital, and Mr. Aird returned to the Valiant Sailor, where at the time of going to press he is progressing very favourably, though much bruised and shaken. It will be remembered that some three or four years ago Mr. Aird's wife was killed and his daughter seriously injured by a similar accident almost at the same spot.

 

Folkestone Herald 8 February 1902.

Hythe Petty Sessions.

Thursday, February 6th: Before J. Du Boulay, H. Strahan, A.S. Jones, J.E. Quested, W. Wightwick, and C.H. Smith Esqs.

John Brian, a stableman, of Folkestone, was summoned for using obscene language at Hawkinge on Boxing Day.

P.C. Crapps said the defendant had been ejected from the Valiant Sailor, and when witness spoke to him he turned round and committed the offence named.

Defendant now said that it was Boxing Day, and the P.C. called him a liar. He admitted having had a little to drink because it was Christmas.

Fined 6s. and 10s. costs, or seven days'.

Defendant: I would do the 7 days, but I don't think I will. (Laughter)

James Wraight was summoned for a like offence at the same place and time.

Defendant, who said he had never been up before the Magistrates in his life, was fined 2s. 6d. and 10s. costs, or 7 days' imprisonment.

 

Folkestone Chronicle 14 June 1902

Saturday, June 7th: Before Alderman Banks and other Magistrates.

A respectable-looking lad named Sidney Geo. Hadlow was charged with embezzling various sums of money, the property of his employer, Mr. Aird, of the Valiant Sailor public house, Dover Road.

Jeanette Keeler, residing in Langhorne Gardens, said Mr. Aird, of the Valiant Sailor, was her milkman. On the morning of the 23rd of May she placed the milk jug in the usual place. In the jug she placed a book and some money. She knew that the accused picked the money up, as she saw him count it.

Edith Foord, a housemaid, deposed to paying the accused 7s. 6d., and receiving 3d. change.

Mr. Aird said prisoner had been in his employ for four months. The amounts mentioned by the witnesses and written in the charge sheet had not been accounted for by the prisoner in his books.

Detective Sergt. Burniston said when he arrested the prisoner, his reply to the charge was that he had lost the money.

Prisoner pleaded Guilty, and said he did not know what had driven him to take the money.

Two months' hard labour was the sentence.

 

Folkestone Express 14 June 1902.

Julderman Banks, G.I. Swoffer, W. Wightwick, and C.J. Pursey Esqs.

Sidney George Hadlow, (19), was charged with embezzling £2 2s. 9d. and 7s. 3d., the money of his employer, Mr. William Aird.

Janet Keeler, of 9, Langhorne Gardens, identified prisoner as the man who had delivered milk at the house for the past three months. On the 23rd May witness placed £2 2s. 9d. in a jug, and she afterwards saw prisoner counting the money.

Edith Foord, a housemaid at 20, Westbourne Gardens, said on the 2nd June she gave prisoner 7s. 6d. and the book. The following day prisoner returned the threepence change, but did not bring the receipted book.

William Aird, residing at the Valiant Sailor, stated that prisoner had been in his employ about four months. Any money handed to prisoner should have been accounted for the same evening.

Detective Burniston deposed to arresting the prisoner, who said "I have received the money, but did not pay it to Mr. Aird". When searched, prisoner had in his possession 1s. 9½d. and five dice.

The Chairman said the prisoner had pleaded Guilty to a very serious charge. Instead of protecting his master's property he had robbed him, and spent the money in a very wrong manner. He would be sentenced to two months' hard labour.

 

Folkestone Express 26 July 1902.

Thursday, July 24th: Before Alderman Banks and W.G. Herbert.

Saunders Berry White, a full-blooded Ethiopian, was charged with stealing £5 10s. 6d. from the ship Rose.

William Stevenson, captain of the ship Rose, said prisoner was cook on board and was shipped at Hartlepool on the 2nd inst. He then had no clothes and no money. The ship arrived at Folkestone on the 18th, and prisoner was on Saturday given half a crown on account of his wages. On Tuesday night, before going to bed, witness put his purse containing £5 10s. 6d. under his pillow in his own cabin. Next morning when he got up the money was safe. About half past eleven he missed his purse, and ascertained that the prisoner, who had access to the cabin, had gone ashore.

Charles Carlson, mate of the vessel, said only the Captain, himself, and the prisoner were allowed to enter the cabin. He did not see prisoner enter or leave the cabin, but saw him walking aft towards the cabin.

The Captain was re-called, and said the prisoner very seldom made up his bed. He had about 25s. due to him on Wednesday for wages.

A seaman named Sollenson said prisoner told him on Tuesday night that he had no money.

Elizabeth Harriett Petty, barmaid at the Valiant Sailor, Dover Road, said the prisoner went into the bar on Wednesday morning about 11.15, and asked for a packet of "fags". She served him, and he tendered half a sovereign in payment. She gave him the change. She did not see the purse.

Detective Sergt. Burniston said he went by rail to Dover and returned by road towards Folkestone. At a public house near the Priory station he saw the prisoner and questioned him. He then took him into custody on a charge of stealing £5 10s. from the ship. Prisoner said "I only had one half a sovereign, and I changed that on the road". Witness searched him and found 8s. 10d. on him. When formally charged at Folkestone, prisoner made no reply.

Prisoner was remanded till next Wednesday.

 

Folkestone Herald 26 July 1902.

Thursday, July 24th: Before Alderman Banks and Mr. W.G. Herbert.

Saunders Berry White, a black, was charged with having stolen £5 10s. 6d. in a purse from the ship Rose, lying in the harbour.

William Stevenson, the Captain of the ship, stated that prisoner was the cook, and was shipped on the 2nd of July at Hartlepool. He had no clothes at that time, nor any money. Prisoner was given 2s. 6d. on account of wages when he arrived at Folkestone on the 18th. On Tuesday night witness put his money under his pillow in his cabin. Next morning it was safe. Later he missed it, and found that prisoner, whose duties took him into the cabin, had gone ashore.

Charles Carson, mate, said he did not see prisoner enter or leave the cabin, but saw him going towards it.

One of the seamen, named Sollenson, said prisoner told him on Tuesday night that he had no money.

Elizabeth Petty, a barmaid at the Valiant Sailor, Dover Road, said prisoner went into her bar on Wednesday morning and asked for a packet of "fags". He gave her half a sovereign, and she gave him the change.

Detective Burniston gave evidence of arrest, and said he found 8s. 10d. on him.

Prisoner was remanded until next Wednesday.

 

Folkestone Express 2 August 1902.

Wednesday, July 30th: Before Alderman Banks, G.I. Swoffer, and W.G. Herbert Esqs.

Saunders Berry White, a negro who was remanded last week on a charge of theft, was again brought up.

The Superintendent said he had no fresh evidence.

The Bench discharged the prisoner, the Chairman remarking that should any fresh evidence be forthcoming he would be arrested and brought up again.

 

Folkestone Herald 2 August 1902.

Wednesday, July 30th: Before Aldermen Banks and Herbert, and Mr. Swoffer.

Saunders Berry White, a black, was charged on remand with stealing a purse containing £5 10s. 6d. from a ship lying in the harbour.

The Chief Constable said he had made enquiries, but had no additional evidence.

Under the circumstances prisoner was discharged.

 

Folkestone Chronicle 2 January 1904.

Monday, December 28th: Before Mr. E.T. Ward, Mr. W.C. Carpenter, Mr. T.J. Vaughan and Lieut. Colonel Westropp.

Henry James Fedarb was charged with stealing three fowls, the property of Mr. W. Aird.

Detective Sergt. Burniston said that at 2.45 on Saturday last he saw prisoner in company with a man named Newman near the public baths in Foord Road, carrying a bag. Witness asked what the sack contained that he had given to Newman. On examination he found it contained three dead fowls, which Newman said he bought of Fedarb for 2s. Witness took Fedarb into custody. At the station Fedarb said that he had found the fowls at the back of a house above the Railway Bell Hotel on Thursday night.

William Aird said he was landlord of the Valiant Sailor. He had examined the fowls and identified them as his property. Their necks had been broken. The value was 3s. each.

John Hawkins, head milkman in Mr. Aird's employ, said he counted the fowls every Monday morning. He missed four on Monday morning. The fowls produced were the same sort as owned by Mr. Aird.

Henry Edward Newman said that Fedarb asked him on Saturday to buy three fowls for 2s., which he did. Detective Sergt. Burniston came up and took the prisoner and the fowls to the police station.

Prisoner was sentenced to 14 days' hard labour. Newman was censured by the Bench for buying the fowls for 2s., and warned that he must be more careful in future.

 

Folkestone Express 2 January 1904.

Monday, December 28th: Before E.T. Ward, W.C. Carpenter and T.J. Vaughan Esqs., and Lieut. Col. Westropp.

Henry James Fedarb was charged with stealing three fowls, the property of Mr. Wm. Aird.

Det. Sergt. Burniston said at 2.45 on Saturday last he saw prisoner in company with a man named Newman, near the Public Baths in Foord Road. Prisoner was carrying something in a bag. When near the Castle Inn, prisoner handed the sack to Newman, and went into the public bar of the Castle. Witness stopped him, and asked him what the sack which he had given to Newman contained. He replied "You had better see". He called Newman outside, and then examined the sack, which contained the three dead fowls produced. Newman said he bought the fowls of Fedarb for 2s. Fdarb said he had won them at the Wonder Inn in Beach Street. He told Fedarb, that not being satisfied with his statement, he should take him to the police station, and he would there be detained while further enquiries were made. Witness went to the Wonder Inn, where he ascertained that the statement Fedarb made was false. He therefore returned and charged him with stealing the three fowls from some person or persons unknown. Fedarb replied "I found them at the back of a house near the Railway Bell Hotel on Thursday night". Subsequently he charged the prisoner with stealing the fowls from Mr. William Aird, of the Valiant Sailor Inn, to which he replied "I am not guilty".

Prisoner said he found the fowls just over a fence in a meadow at the back of a house in Dover Road.

William Aird, landlord of the Valiant Sailor, said he kept fowls in houses at the back of the inn, in a farmyard. He had examined the three fowls, and identified two of them as his property. Their necks had been broken. He did not miss them until that (Monday) morning, and had seen them safe on Thursday or Friday. The value was 3s. each. He had missed four since the previous Monday. They were counted every Monday morning.

Prisoner: I have heard you say in your bar that you never knew how many fowls you had got.

John Hawkins, head milkman in the employ of Mr. Aird, said he counted the fowls every Monday morning. That day week there were nine missing, but on counting them that (Monday) morning he missed four. He could not swear to the fowls produced, but they were the same sort as Mr. Aird kept. He had frequently seen the prisoner about the premises, and he had sometimes slept in stacks there, but not with Mr. Aird's permission.

Henry Edward Newman, foreman bricklayer, in the employ of Mr. Moody, living at 84, Marshall Street, said he knew the prisoner very well, and saw him on Saturday. Fedarb called him and asked him if he would buy three fowls. He asked where they were, and he replied that he would go and get them. He went away and returned with three fowls in a bag, which he carried to the Castle Inn. Prisoner told witness he won them at the Wonder and did not want them, and he could have them for 3s.

Mr. Ward: So you think you gave a fair price.

Witness: Well, you can buy plenty of fowls for 1s. each.

Mr. Ward: Well, we can't.

Witness continued his evidence: He gave 2s. for the three fowls. Burniston came up a few minutes after and took the fowls, and also the prisoner to the police station.

The prisoner was then charged with stealing two of the fowls. He said he "wanted the job settled", but was not guilty. He found the fowls in a bag in Mr. Major's field.

Mr. Bradley reminded the prisoner that his first story was that he won the fowls at the Wonder.

The Bench considered the case proved. It was prisoner's first offence, and he was sentenced to 14 days' hard labour.

Newman was called forward and censured by the Chairman for buying the fowls for 2s., and told him he must be more careful in future.

 

Folkestone Herald 2 January 1904.

Monday, December 28th: Before Mr. E.T. Ward, Alderman T.J. Vaughan, Lieut. Colonels Westropp and Fynmore, amd Mr. W.C. Carpenter.

Henry James Fedarb was charged with stealing three fowls.

Detective Sergeant Burniston stated that at 2.45 on Saturday last he saw prisoner, in company with another man, near the public baths in Foord Road. Prisoner was carrying something in a sack. When near the Castle public house, Fedarb handed the sack to Newman, and went into the public baths. He stopped Fedarb, and said "What does the sack contain that you have given to Newman?" He replied "You had better see". He called Newman outside, and on examining the sack (produced), found it to contain three dead fowls (also produced). Newman said "I bought these fowls off Fedarb for 2s.". Fedarb said he had won them at the Wonder Inn in Beach Street. Witness told Fedard he was not satisfied with his answer, and took him to the police station to be detained while he made further enquiries. He then went to the Wonder Inn, and found the statement to be false. He returned to Fedarb and cautioned him, whereupon he said "I found them at the back of a house above the Railway Bell on Thursday night". That morning he charged prisoner with stealing three fowls from the Valiant Sailor, the property of Mr. Aird. He replied "I am not guilty".

Mr. W. Aird, landlord of the Valiant Sailor, said he kept fowls in three outhouses in the farmyard. The three fowls produced had been killed by the breaking of their necks. He valued them at 3s. each. He identified them as his property.

John Hawkins said he was in the employ of Mr. Aird, and it was his duty to look after the fowls. He counted them weekly every Monday morning. He counted them that day (Monday), and found four missing. He could not actually swear that the fowls (produced) were Mr. Aird's property, but they were the same sort as he kept. He had seen Fedarb about the premises at different times. Last week prisoner slept on the premises, unknown to Mr. Aird, and he (witness) saw him leave in the morning.

Henry Edward Newman said he was a foreman bricklayer for Mr. Moody, and resided at 84, Marshall Street. He knew prisoner very well, but was not in his company on the morning in question. He was near the Castle public house when Fedarb called him and asked if he would buy three fowls. He told him he did not know that he wanted them, and asked where they were. Prisoner replied "They are up at my place. I will go and get them". After about half an hour he returned, and joined witness in the Castle. He showed him the three fowls (produced) in the sack (produced), and told him he had won them at the Wonder, and did not want them as he had no use for them, and witness might have the three for 2s. He (witness) had had them in his possession about three or four minutes when Detective Burniston asked him to let him have them. The Detective then took Fedarb and the fowls to the police station.

When asked whether he desired to be dealt with summarily or to be tried by a jury, prisoner said "I want the job settled". He pleaded not guilty, still asserting that he found the fowls in a bag near the Railway Bell, at the back of two houses.

Prisoner was sentenced to fourteen days' hard labour, and the Chairman remonstrated with Newman for having bought the fowls for such a price in that way, remarking that if he did anything like it again he would probably find himself in Fedarb's position.

 

Folkestone Chronicle 17 September 1904.

Saturday, September 10th: Before Aldermen Penfold and Vaughan, Lieut. Col. Westropp, Mr. J. Stainer, and Lieut. Col. Fynmore.

George Tanner was charged with trespassing in the early morning on land of which Mr. Aird, of the Valiant Sailor, is the owner.

P.C. Allen said he saw defendant on the land and he also saw a man shoot a gun off.

Defendant admitted trespassing on the land but denied shooting. He said that he offered the constable the gun to look at but the constable refused to do so.

Fined 20s. and 10s. costs or 14 days'.

 

Folkestone Express 17 September 1904.

Saturday, September 10th: Before Aldermen Penfold and Vaughan, Lieut. Col. Fymnore, Lieut. Col. Westropp, and J. Stainer Esq.

George Tanner was summoned for trespassing in search of game on the previous Saturday morning. Defendant pleaded Not Guilty.

P.C. Allen said at 5.30 a.m. last Saturday, when near the Valiant Sailor, he looked on land belonging to Mr. Aird and saw the defendant on it. He was carrying a double-barrelled breech loading gun in his hand, and also had a whippet dog with him. Witness saw him fire at something. He watched him for some time and then went to him and asked him who had given him permission to be on the land. Defendant replied nobody had given him permission, but he was searching for white starlings.

Mr. Aird, the occupier of the land, said he had not given defendant permission to be on his land. There was a lot of partridges in the sanfoin, and defendant was among them.

Fined 20s. and 10s. costs.

 

Folkestone Herald 17 September 1904.

Saturday, September 10th: Before Alderman S. Penfold, Lieut. Colonel Fynmore, Alderman T.J. Vaughan, Lieut. Colonel Westropp, and Mr. J. Stainer.

George Tanner was summoned for trespassing on land belonging to Mr. Aird, near the Valiant Sailor, on the 3rd inst. He pleaded Not Guilty.

P.C. Allen deposed that at 5.30 the previous Saturday morning he was in plain clothes, when he saw defendant carrying a double-barrelled breach-loading gun. He also had a bag with him. He saw him fire the gun off at something, and then go into a field belonging to Mr. Aird. He went to him and asked him who gave him permission to shoot on the land. He replied "Nobody. I am only searching for white starlings".

Mr. W. Aird said he was the occupier of the land in question. Defendant was shooting there without his leave. He was a well-known hand, and witness believed he was searching for partridges.

Defendant denied firing the gun. He said he asked the constable to examine the gun to see if it had been fired, but he refused to examine it.

Defendant was fined 20s. with 10s. costs; in default 14 days' hard labour.

 

Folkestone Chronicle 3 December 1904.

Folkestone Gossip.

An amusing burglary case has been reported this week. On Monday Mr. Aird, of the Valiant Sailor, heard a peculiar knocking at one f the upper doors of the house, and at once assumed that a burglar was at work. A careful net was drawn round the house, a coastguard watched the back entrance, and a cordon of notabilities from the hills watched the front. In the meantime a boy was dispatched for a constable, who arrived breathless upon the scene, and went straight to the source of the tapping, when it was found to be Mrs. Aird's little boy, who was playing with the window sash.

 

Folkestone Daily News 15 November 1912.

Friday, November 15th: Before Messrs. Vaughan, Fynmore, Owen and Giles.

Horace Southon appeared to answer a summons charging him with trespassing in search of conies on the land of Mr. Aird at the Valiant Sailor. Mr. G.W. Haines defended and pleaded Not Guilty.

Prosecutor, Mr. Alfred Charles Aird, jun., deposed to finding some snares on his ground on Saturday, the 9th inst., and to watching the snares on Sunday, the 10th inst., when he saw defendant kicking the bushes and carrying a gun on his arm as if ready to shoot. Witness, by arrangement with a county constable, watched defendant, and from what transpired subsequently defendant's name and address were taken by the constable. The land on which defendant was trespassing was in the sole occupation of witness's father, who retained the sole shooting rights. When challenged, defendant said "I'm doing you no harm, Mr. Aird. I had shot a pigeon on my ground, and was going to fetch it".

Mr. Haines directed his cross-examination to show that defendant's allotment gardens were close under the spot where defendant was carrying his gun, and that it was not an infrequent occurrence for wild pigeons to fly in that direction.

P.C. Marshall, K.C.C., deposed to watching defendant by arrangement with Mr. Aird, and to searching the man, who had in his possession a gun at full cock.

Both witness and Mr. Aird, under cross-examination, said the gun was at full cock, but neither looked to see if there was a cartridge in the gun.

Mr. Haines put defendant in the box, Southon swearing that he had an allotment adjoining the Crete Road. He had a gun licence, and being swarmed with rats on the ground (the rats eating the crops), he made it a practice to go up and shoot them on Sunday mornings. On this particular Sunday morning from 12 to 14 wood pigeons flew over his allotment, and he fired and shot one. It skimmed along the bank in the direction of Crete Road, witness following and searching for the pigeon, when Mr. Aird came along and said "I'm not looking after you; I'm looking after another party". Witness accompanied Aird along the road until they met the policeman. Witness swore that he never went on Mr. Aird's ground at all.

Ernest Grist, an allotment holder, deposed to being on his ground (near defendant's) on Sunday morning when he saw defendant shoot at some wood pigeons, and, having fired, follow the bridle path to the Crete Road. A large number of allotment holders kept guns to keep down the rats.

Mr. Haines addressed the Bench and relied upon the rebutting evidence to secure a dismissal.

The Chairman said the Bench had come to the conclusion that the evidence against the defendant was not sufficient to convict, and the case would be dismissed.

 

Folkestone Herald 16 November 1912.

Friday, November 15th: Before Alderman T.J. Vaughan, Lieut. Col. Fynmore, Colonel Owen, and Mr. J.J. Giles.

Horace Southon was summoned for trespassing on land near the Valiant Sailor in search of coneys. Mr. G.W. Haines represented the defendant.

Alfred Charles Aird, of the Valiant Sailor, stated that at about 7.40 the previous Sunday morning he was keeping observation on some snares which he had seen on his ground previously. Whilst watching, he saw defendant coming towards the Valiant Sailor on the land, kicking the gorse bushes and carrying a gun. The land was not enclosed. Witness watched him for a few minutes, and then procured the assistance of P.C. Marshall. He went home for his bicycle, and subsequently met the defendant on the road. Witness asked him what he had been doing on the land about twenty minutes previously. He replied "I've done you no harm, Mr. Aird. I shot a pigeon on my allotment and came to find it". Witness said to him "You must come with me". He took him to the constable, who asked for his name and address, and searched him. The gun was loaded and at full cock. There were no game or rabbits on the defendant. Witness and his father were entitled to the shooting rights on this land.

Cross-examined by Mr. Haines: The defendant's allotment was about ¾ of a mile away from the spot on which witness saw him. It was below the Crete Road, but not in a direct line. The snares were about 50 yards away from the spot where witness saw prisoner, who was coming in the direction of the snares.

P.C. Marshall, stationed at Hawkinge, also gave evidence.

Cross-examined by Mr. Haines, witness said he heard the defendant make some observation about shooting pigeons. Witness found no ammunition of any kind on the defendant.

Defendant, on oath, said that he had an allotment under the hills adjoining the Crete Road. He had a gun licence because the place was overrun with rats. Wild pigeons came over from the other side of the Channel in thousands during the winter. The previous Sunday he shot at a pigeon flying over his allotment. He hit one, but he did not see where it fell. He left his allotment and went up the Crete Road, looking for the bird. It was whilst he was doing this that Mr. Aird came along on his cycle. Defendant accompanied him to the constable, and in his presence told Mr. Aird that he was up there for the purpose of getting this pigeon.

Cross-examined by Mr. Andrew, defendant said he was three or four hundred yards away from his allotment when he spoke to Mr. Aird.

Ernest Grist, of Pavilion Road, said he had an allotment near the defendant's. He knew that at this time of year many pigeons did come over the water. On Sunday he heard the report of a gun, and saw the defendant standing in his allotment with a smoking gun in his hand. Witness saw a number of pigeons. He also saw the defendant go up the hill.

Mr. Haines maintained that this was a case started and founded on suspicion.

The case was dismissed.

 

Folkestone Express 23 November 1912.

Friday, November 15th: Before Alderman Vaughan, Lieut. Col. Fynmore, J.J. Giles Esq., and Colonel Owen.

Horace Southon was summoned for trespassing in search of conies on land belonging to Mr. Aird. Defendant pleaded Not Guilty. Mr. G.W. Haines defended.

Alfred Charles Aird, of the Valiant Sailor, said on Sunday at 7.45 a.m. he was keeping observation on some snares which had been placed the day previous on ground in his father's occupation, when he saw the defendant coming towards the Valiant Sailor on the land, kicking the gorse bushes as he went along. He was also carrying a gun in his hand. He watched him for some few minutes, and then fetched P.C. Marshall of the Kent C.C., who he left on the road, while he procured his bicycle. The constable went along under the hill and he went along the top. He eventually came across the defendant, and asked him what he had been doing on the land previously. He replied "I have done no harm, Mr. Aird; I shot a pigeon in my allotment and came to find it". He told him that he must come with him to the constable, who then took the defendant's name and address. He also searched him, and the gun was found to be loaded and at full cock. They found no game or rabbits on him. He (witness's) father and himself had the shooting rights over the land.

Cross-examined, witness said the defendant's allotment was about three quarters of a mile away. It was below the Crete Road. The defendant was walking away sharply when he overtook him.

P.C. Marshall, of the Kent County Police, said at 7.45 on Sunday morning he was near the Valiant Sailor, when he saw Mr. Aird, and he afterwards went below the hill near the Sanatorium. He then saw a man carrying a gun walking amongst the gorse bushes twenty or thirty yards from the road. He later saw Mr. Aird overtake the man, so he went up to him.

Cross-examined, witness said he heard the defendant say something about having been shooting pigeons. When he first saw the defendant he was twenty or thirty yards from the crest of the hill. He found no cartridges or ammunition on the defendant. He heard no gun fired.

Defendant, giving evidence on oath, said he had an allotment about sixty or seventy yards from the Crete Road. He had a gun licence. They were swarmed with rats on the allotments, so he went up to shoot them on a Sunday morning. About that time of the year a large number of wild pigeons flew across. On Sunday morning he shot at some pigeons which flew over his allotment. One fell, so he went up the bridle path leading to Crete Road, and when he got there he looked after the bird. Mr. Aird then came up and said he was not looking after him, but another man. He went with him to the constable. He was about three or four hundred yards from his allotment garden when he met Mr. Aird.

Ernest Grist, of 4, Pavilion Road, said he had an allotment near the defendant's. On Sunday morning he was in the allotment, and whilst there he heard the report of a gun from under the hills. The defendant was in his allotment with his gun. At the time he heard the gun he noticed a number of pigeons fly over the hill. He later saw the defendant go up to the hill.

The Chairman said the Magistrates considered there was not sufficient evidence to convict, so the defendant would be discharged.

 

Folkestone Express 6 March 1915.

Local News.

We regret to record the death of Mr. W. Aird, of the Valiant Sailor Inn, who died on Saturday afternoon in last week after a very long and painful illness. Mr. Aird was well-known in Folkestone, and was at one time a member of the Elham Board of Guardians. The funeral took place at the Folkestone Cemetery on Wednesday afternoon.

 

Folkestone Herald 6 March 1915.

Obituary.

We regret to record the death of Mr. W. Aird, who passed away at the Valiant Sailor, Folkestone, on Saturday. He had been confined to his bed for some time. His death will be mourned by a large circle of friends, by whom he was greatly respected. He was for some time on the Elham Board of Guardians. He had been the licensee of the Valiant Sailor for many years.

The funeral took place on Wednesday at Folkestone Cemetery.

 

Folkestone Herald 3 April 1915.

Local News.

At the Elham County Bench on Thursday, the licence of the Valiant Sailor, Hawkinge, was temporarily transferred from the executors of the late Mr. Wm. Aird to Mr. Alfred Aird.

 

Folkestone Express 15 May 1915.

Local News.

The licence of the Valiant Sailor, Dover Road, was transferred to Mr. A.C. Aird, the son of the late owner.

 

Folkestone Herald 15 May 1915.

Elham County Bench.

Thursday, May 13th: Before Mr. E. Garnet Man, Sir Clarence Smith, Major D'Eath, Messrs. A.S. Jones, R.J. Linton, J.E. Quested, H.P. Jacques, and W.G. Tester.

The licence of the Valiant Sailor, Hawkinge, was transferred from the late Mr. Aird to his son, Mr. Alfd. Chas. Aird.

 

Folkestone Express 5 June 1915.

Notice.

Re. William Aird, Deceased.

Pursuant to the Act of Parliament of the 22nd and 23rd Vict., C35, notice is hereby given that all creditors and other persons having any debts, claims or demands against the estate of William Aird, late of the Valiant Sailor Inn, Dover Hill, near Folkestone, in the County of Kent, licensed victualler and dairy farmer, deceased (who died on the 27th day of February, 1915, and whose will was proved in the Principal Registry of the Probate Division of His Majesty's High Court of Justice on the 10th day of April, 1915, by George Pilcher and John Andrew, the executors therein named) are hereby required to send in the particulars of their debts claims or demands to us, the undersigned, the solicitors for the said executors, on or before the 10th day of July, 1915, after which date the executors will proceed to distribute the assets of the said deceased amongst the persons entitled thereto, having regard only to the claims and demands of which they shall then have had notice, and they will not be liable for the assets of the said deceased, or any part thereof, so distributed to any person or persons whose debts, claims or demands they shall not then have had notice.

Dated this 3rd day of June, 1915.

H.B. Bradley and Hulme,

72, Sandgate Road, Folkestone.

Solicitors for the said Executors.

 

Folkestone Express 24 April 1920.

Local News.

At the Dover County Petty Sessions in last week, George Appleby, of Bow, London, and Pte. Sydney Chambers, R.A.S.C., were summoned for firing a revolver on the highway at Hougham on the 4th March. Appleby did not appear, but Chambers pleaded Not Guilty.

Alfred Shilling, of 8, Avenue Road, Dover, a taxi driver, said that on March 4th he took two men to Folkestone, one of whom was Chambers. He did not know the other. They stopped at the Hare and Hounds, as the civilian wanted a drink. He could not get any, although it was not out of hours. He then produced a revolver, and wanted to fire it. Chambers got him into the car, and they drove on. The soldier had already got possession of it again, and going along the road he leaned over the front of the car and fired three shots. Witness warned him about it. The man was the worse for liquor. Another car passed them before they got to the Naval air sheds, when shots were fired from the back of the taxi. Clayson, the carrier, passed them later, and shots were fired from the left of the car. At the Naval air sheds three shots were fired in front of the officers' mess there. The civilian fired them. Witness saw both of the men fumbling about for cartridges, and the civilian found some loose in his pockets. Chambers wanted to fire it, but he did not know how until the other showed him. He then fired from the side of the car at the Valiant Sailor. The civilian fired between six and ten shots. When witness dropped them at Folkestone Central station the civilian still had the revolver in his hand, and insulted people. Chambers paid the fare.

John William Fagg, 65, Longfield Road, watchman at the Capel Air Station, said he was outside the office on the evening in question, and heard a car coming from Dover. He saw flashes, and heard reports of the revolver fired from the car towards the buildings. It was nearly dark at the time. He heard someone call out "Go on! Go on!" Later he heard two more reports as the car went on. He informed the Folkestone police by telephone.

P.S. Chaney, of the Folkestone police, said he arrested Appleby for drunkenness at 9 p.m. on the 4th March in Cheriton Road. On searching him he found the revolver (produced) in his pocket. He was fined 5s. the next day. Chambers was not then with him.

Chambers said he met Appleby on the boat coming from France, and they were pals together in France. He took him to Folkestone, but denied firing the revolver.

The Chairman said there was no corroborative evidence against Chambers, and the case would be dismissed against him, and the case against Appleby adjourned for a month in order that he might be present.

 

Folkestone Herald 23 April 1921.

Elham Petty Sessions.

Thursday, April 21st: Before Dr. W.J. Tyson, Mr. A.S. Jones, Mr. H. Strahan, Mr. C. Ed. Mumford, Mr. E.J. Bishop, Mr. J.H. Maltby, Mr. W.G. Tester, and Mr. C.D. Twopenny.

Mr. A.C. Aird, of the Valiant Sailor, Hawkinge, was granted an extension from 10 o'clock to noon, and from 2.30 to 5 on the 5th May, on the occasion of a stock sale to be held in an adjacent field by Messrs. W. and D. Hobbs, of Ashford.

 

Folkestone Herald 15 April 1922.

Local News.

The Hawkinge and District Darts League has been won by the Valiant Sailor team with 11 points in their favour. The runners-up are the Black Horse and the Three Bells (Selsted) teams, who have each 10 points. The cup was presented to the winners on Saturday evening by the Secretary of the League (Mr. Fisher).

 

Folkestone Herald 22 April 1922.

Elham Petty Sessions.

Thursday, April 20th: Before Mr. J.E. Quested, Mr. A.S. Jones, Mr. E.J. Bishop, Mr. H.P. Jacques, and Mr. H. Strahan.

Permission was granted to Mr. A.C. Aird, of the Valiant Sailor, to sell intoxicating liquors from 2.30 to 6 p.m. on May 3rd, on the occasion of a stock sale.

 

Folkestone Express 21 April 1923.

Elham Petty Sessions.

Thursday, April 20th: Before Dr. J.W. Tyson, Councillor C.E. Mumford, Councillor Osborne, Mr. H. Strahan, and Mr. A.S. Jones.

Mr. A.C. Aird, Valiant Sailor, applied for an occasional licence for the annual stock sale to be held in a meadow adjoining the Valiant Sailor by Messrs. Hobbs, on Wednesday, May 2nd, from 2.30 to 5 p.m.

Supt. Russell offered no objection.

Granted.

 

Folkestone Herald 31 May 1924.

Elham Petty Sessions.

Thursday, May 29th: Before Dr. W.J. Tyson, Mr. A.S. Jones, Judge Terrell K.C., Mr. H.P. Jacques, Mr. H. Strahan, Mr. A.N. Watney, Alderman C. Ed. Mumford, and Mr. J.S. Clark.

Mr. W. Aird, of the Valiant Sailor, Hawkinge, applied for an occasional licence from 10 to 10.30 in the morning and from 2.30 to 5 in the afternoon on June 4th in connection with a stock sale. Granted.

 

Folkestone Express 17 April 1926.

Local News.

Early yesterday (Thursday) an unwelcome visitor entered the Valiant Sailor, the well known licensed premises on the main Folkestone-Dover Road.

Sometime between midnight and six o’clock in the morning one of the windows was force and the burglar was able to have a good look round. He must have been disturbed, however, for he left a lot of valuable articles untouched, but made off with a number of valuable Masonic jewels belonging to Mr. A Aird, some of which it will be impossible to replace. Close by was a large pile of coppers and a number of silver articles were undisturbed.

 

Folkestone Herald 17 April 1926.

Local News.

During Wednesday night or in the early hours of Thursday morning the residence of Mr. A.C. Aird, of the Valiant Sailor, Folkestone, was entered by a burglar or burglars. An entrance was effected by means of a low window. The intruder disregarded a quantity of valuable silver plate which was in the room and took six Masonic jewels, the property of Mr. Aird. Most of these were souvenirs, and cannot be replaced. A safe in the room was also opened by a key in the lock, but an inner draw containing money was left intact. The visitor helped himself to some biscuits which were on the table. It is thought that the intruder believed the jewels were gold on account of their appearance. They are of no value except to the owner.

 

Folkestone Express 24 April 1926.

Local News.

On Monday, at the Seabrook Police Court, Andrew Benedict Richards was charged with breaking and entering the Valiant Sailorpublic-house and stealing five Masonic jewels, a metal watch, and a bunch of keys, valued at £7 5s., the property of Mr. A. Aird, on the night of April 15th and 16th. A second charge against him was of breaking into the dwelling-house in Risborough Lane, Cheriton, of Mr. Edwin Turner, and stealing two wallets and cards, and a gold-filled watch, valued at £6 10s. He also was charged with breaking and entering the Victoria Hotel, Risborough Lane, Cheriton, during the night of April 15th and 16th, and stealing £6 in money, a silver-plated pencil case, cigars and cigarettes and other articles of the value of £6 15s., the property of Mr. F. Rivers.

Only evidence of arrest was given, Det. Const Avery stating that on the previous evening he went to Chatham Police Station, where he saw the prisoner m custody. He brought him to Seabrook Police Station where he charged the prisoner with the offences. In reply prisoner said he gave three of the Masonic jewels to three men in Folkestone, and that he put some of the papers he obtained from the wallet behind a hedge at the Menage, Cheriton.

Prisoner was remanded until Friday.

 

Folkestone Herald 24 April 1926.

Seabrook Police Court.

Monday, April 19th: Before Mr. J.S. Clark.

Andrew Benedict Richards, of Queen's Street, Chatham, was charged with breaking and entering the Valiant Sailor, near Folkestone, during the night of April 14th and 15th, and stealing therein five Masonic medals, a metal watch, a bunch of keys, valued at £7 5s. in all, the property of Mr. Alfred C. Aird. He was further charged with breaking and entering a house in Risborough Lane, Cheriton, during the night of the 15th and 16th inst., and stealing two wallets, a razor and case, and a gold filled watch, valued at £6 10s., the property of Mr. Edwin Turner. There was a third charge of breaking and entering the Victoria Inn, Cheriton, during the night of the 15th and 16th, and stealing £6 in money, a silver plated pencil case and pen, a pair of suede gloves, and a quantity of cigars and cigarettes, together of the value of £6 15s., the property of Mr. Francis Rivers.

Detective Constable Avory, stationed at Seabrook, stated that he saw the prisoner detained at Chatham police station the previous evening at six o'clock, and charged him with the three offences. Accused made no reply. Witness brought him to Seabrook police station, where he formally charged and cautioned him. Accused said "The other three medals I gave to three men in Folkestone. They had one each. I put some papers which were in one of the wallets behind a bush on the edge of the Menage, Cheriton".

Prisoner was remanded in custody until yesterday.

The Magistrates present at the adjourned hearing were Mr. J.S. Clark and Mr. C. Sheath.

Mr. A.C. Aird, of the Valiant Sailor, Hawkinge, said that he made an inspection of his premises on the night of the 14th April, and found them all secure. Just after six o'clock on the following morning, on going downstairs, he noticed that the dining room window was open and one pane was broken near the catch. The room itself was in a state of great disorder. He had an office adjoining the dining room, the door of which was locked. He unlocked the door and entered, and noticed that the window was open, and a pane of glass near the catch was broken. The office was in great disorder. He then looked round the other downstairs rooms. The front door was unbolted. He missed nothing from the dining room, but he missed five of his Masonic medals (three produced) and a gun metal watch which had been kept in a drawer in his desk. At a later inspection he missed a bunch of keys, some foreign coins, and a small electric torch. He identified the three medals, the keys and the watch, and the coins were similar to those he had. The value was between £7 and £8.

Detective Constable Avory said that about 7 a.m. on the 15th April he examined the premises in company with Sergt. Fry. A room used as an office had been entered by the window, which had a pane of glass broken near the catch. The room had the appearance of having been hurriedly searched. The thief, not being able to gain admittance to any other part of the building, owing to the door of the room which he was in being locked, had left by the way he entered, and entered the dining room by the indow in the same way as he had entered the office. At 6 p.m. on the 18th April he saw the prisoner detained at Chatham police station. He cautioned him and charged him. Prisoner made no reply. He took him to Seabrook police station, where at 10 p.m. he again cautioned and charged him. Prisoner replied "Three of the medals I gave to three men at Folkestone; I also gave one of them the watch. I do not know who they were". On April 20th witness recovered the watch from a man named Alfred Brown at the Plough lodging house, New Romney.

Mary Green, 16, Queen Street, Chatham, said that the prisoner was her brother. On April 15th he came home between half past ten and eleven. She thought it was a Thursday, but she was not sure; it might have been Friday. Her brother gave her a tobacco pouch, two medals, a silver pen and pencil, and a pair of gloves. She recognised the articles produced as those given her by her brother. The next day the police called at the house, and she handed the property over to them. She also handed over an attaché case belonging to her brother. The police opened the case in her presence, and it contained the cigars, cigarettes, and gloves produced.

Prisoner: When I gave you those things I told you I bought them at Folkestone, did I not?

Witness: Yes.

Detective Constable Hawes, of Chatham, said that on April 17th he kept observation in the High Street, Chatham. About 9.30 p.m., when in company with Detective Constable Gilham, he saw prisoner in Globe Lane, Chatham. He told prisoner he was making enquiries respecting a case of burglary near Folkestone, and that he had reason to believe that he had been to Folkestone. Prisoner replied "No, I have not". Prisoner then said "Look here, I have been to Folkestone, but you do not want me. I told you I would not do another job in Chatham, and if you let me go I will put you on to a good job". He noticed the prisoner was wearing one suede glove on the right hand and carrying another. He asked prisoner how he came in possession of them. Prisoner replied "I bought them". He told prisoner that the gloves answered the description of a pair stolen at Cheriton on April 15th. He cautioned prisoner and told him that he would take him to the police station, where he would be detained for further enquiries. At 10.30 p.m. the same evening he went to 16, Queen Street, Chatham, where prisoner resided with his married sister, Mary Green. He was in company with Detective Inspector Galloway and Detective Constable Gilham. In consequence of what he said to the prisoner's sister, she handed him the bunch of keys and the flash lamp from the prisoner's attaché case. The two Masonic medals were shown to him on a cistern in a lavatory at the rear of the premises by the prisoner's brother-in-law, Edward Green. He took possession of the medals. The third Masonic medal was recovered by Northfleet police and handed to him.

Detective Constable Gilham corroborated.

Mr. Edward Turner, an Army pensioner, 180, Risborough Lane, said that at about 9.15 p.m. on April 15th he went to bed, leaving a presentation gold watch and a silver chain, a wallet containing his Army documents, and a razor in case on the kitchen dresser. He heard no noise whatever during the night. On the following morning he went to the dresser between 9.15 and 9.30 and found the articles he had placed there overnight missing. He reported the matter to the police. He valued the articles at £6 6s. He identified the watch, the wallet, the razor case, and a small portion of the documents produced.

Mrs. Turner, wife of the last witness, gave evidence of bolting the door.

Dorothy Mary Turner said that when she came down on the morning of the 15th she noticed that the back door was open, and that two ornamental tins were on the kitchen table with the lids off. The previous evening about 11.15 she heard a bus stop and footsteps, and the door handle was turned. She did not know her father was in, and she thought that it was he.

P.S. Marsh said that shortly after 3.30 p.m. on April 16th he visited 180, Risborough Lane, Cheriton, where he found that an entry had been made by the back door being insecurely fastened. The lock, although fastened, did not secure the door. A bolt which was on the top of the door appeared to be slightly out of alignment with the slot in which it should go.

Detective Constable Hawes said that the suede wallet produced was handed to him by the prisoner's sister, and the gold presentation watch produced by the prisoner's sister-in-law, Norah Richards. The morocco leather wallet produced was found on the prisoner when he was searched at the police station.

Detective Constable Avory said that at 6 p.m. on April 18th he saw prisoner detained at Chatham police station. He told him that he was a police officer, cautioned him, and charged him with breaking and entering the dwelling house at 180, Risborough Lane, Cheriton, and stealing one gold watch, one razor and case, and two pocket wallets, the property of Mr. Edward Turner. Prisoner made no reply. At Seabrook police station at 10 p.m. he was again cautioned and charged. Prisoner replied "The papers which were in one of the wallets I put in the hedge on the edge of the Menage". On the 19th he searched the spot indicated by the prisoner and found the papers produced, and also the razor case.

Mr. Arthur Henry Alker, living at the Victoria Inn, said that he was the son-in-law of the licensee, Mr. Rivers. On April 15th about 10.30 hel ocked and secured the house. He did not hear anything in the night. On the following morning he examined the tills and found that they were empty. He knew that there was something in them overnight. There was a half pint glass containing beer and a half pint milk stout bottle in the saloon bar which had not been there the night before. There were footmarks on the rug at the entrance to the drawing room, and the dining room was in disorder. A small parcel was undone, and a pen and pencil were missing from a case. When he put on his coat he discovered that a pair of brown suede gloves were missing. There was £2 in each till the night before, and there were three tills. He identified a pen and pencil (produced), and he also recognised a cigar box (produced).

Mary Fowler, employed as a barmaid at the Victoria, said that she went downstairs about seven o'clock on the morning of April 16th to let the painters in. Whilst she was undoing the back door two of the other painters came through the dart room door. Then she went back into the kitchen, and after that through the saloon bar behind the bar. She found the till open, with a penny or two halfpennies in it. £2 had been left in it the night before. There were three tills, and the same amount was left in each till. She saw that the other two tills were open.

Mary Green said that the pen and pencil, the gloves, and the tobacco were given to her by her brother.

Detective Constable Hawes said that at 9.30 on April 17th he saw the prisoner at Chatham and asked him how he came into possession of the gloves. He replied "I bought them". He examined the gloves and told him they answered the description of a pair of gloves stolen at Cheriton on April 15th. On the way to the police station the prisoner dropped the gloves and the one produced was recovered by Detective Constable Gilham. At 10.30 p.m. the same day he went to 16, Queen Street, Chatham, where he saw the prisoner's sister, Mary Green, who handed him a pencil case, a pen, and a quantity of cigarettes, tobacco and cigars.

Detective Constable Avory gave further evidence.

Defendant called no witnesses, and said that he had nothing to say.

Prisoner was committed to take his trial at the next Assizes.

 

Folkestone Express 1 May 1926.

On Friday, at the Seabrook Police Court, before Mr. J. S Clark and Mr C. Sheath, Andrew Benedict Richards was charged, on remand, with breaking and entering the Valiant Sailor public-house and stealing five Masonic jewels, a metal watch, a bunch of keys, and one electric torch valued at £7 5s., the property of Mr. A. Aird, on the night of April 14th and 15th.

Alfred Charles Aird, the licensee of the Valiant Sailor public-house, said his premises were securely looked when he retired to bed just after midnight on the night of the 14th and 15th April. About 6 a.m. on the 15th April, on coming downstairs, he discovered that the window of the dining-room had a small piece of glass broken off near the catch, and was wide open. The room was in n state of disorder. He examined the office, and found that the front door was unbolted. From the office he missed five Masonic jewels, and which the three (produced) he identified He also missed a gun-metal watch, which had been kept in a drawer in his desk. At a later inspection he missed a bunch of keys and some foreign coins, and a small electric torch, all of which he identified, although there were 200 coins in the first place. He valued them at between £7 and £8.

Det.Con. Avery, stationed at Seabrook, said at 7 a.m. on the 15th April, in consequence of a telephone message, he visited the Valiant Sailor public-house, where he examined the premises in company with Sergt. Fry. A room used as an office had been entered by the window, which had a pane of glass broken near the catch. The room was in a state of disorder, and had the appearance of having been hurriedly searched. The thief, not being able to gain admittance in any other part of the building, owing to the door of the the room in which he would have entered being locked, had left by the way he had entered, and had entered the dining-room by the window, as he had entered the office on the first occasion. The room was in disorder. At 6 p.m. on the 18th April, he saw the prisoner detained at the Chatham Police Station. He told him he was a police officer, and cautioned him, and charged him with breaking and entering the Valiant Sailor public-house, in the parish of Hawkinge, and stealing therein five Masonic medals and brooch, a metal watch, a bunch of keys and a pocket flash-lamp, of the total value of £7 5s., the property of Alfred Charles Aird, during the night of April 14th and 15th. He made no reply. He conveyed him to the Seabrook police station, where, at 10 p.m., he again cautioned and charged him. He replied "Three of the medals I gave to three men at Folkestone. I also gave one of them a watch. I do not know who they were". On the 20th April he recovered the watch (produced) at the Plough Lodging House, New Romney, from Alfred Brown, a lodger at the house.

Mary Green, 16, Queen's Street, Chatham, said the prisoner was her brother. On the 15th April about 10-30 and 11 o'* clock her brother came home. She thought it was on the Thursday that he gave her something; it may have been on Friday. He gave her a tobacco pouch, and two medals, and a pair of silver pencils, and a pair of gloves (produced). The following day the police called at her house. She handed the property over to them and an attache case belonging to her brother, and which she got from under the sofa. The police opened it in her presence, and it contained cigars and cigarettes and a glove.

Prisoner: When I gave you those things said I had bought them at Folkestone.

Witness: Yes. I did not believe you though.

Det.-Con. George Hawes, of the Kent County Constabulary, stationed at Chatham, said on Saturday, the 17th April, he received information from Supt. Goulding of certain offences having been committed in the Elham district, together with a list of stolen property. He made enquiries, and in consequence of information received, he kept observation in the High Street Chatham. About 9-30 p.m. the same evening, in company with Det. Con. Gilham, he saw the prisoner in Globe Lane, Chatham. He stopped him and said to him "You know I am a police officer I am making enquiries respecting a case of burglary near Folkestone on the night of the 14th and 15th April, and I have reason to believe you have been to Folkestone". He replied "No, I haven‘t". He then said "Look here, I have been to Folkestone, but you don t want me. I told you I would not do another job in Chatham, and if you let me go I will put you on to a good job". He then noticed the prisoner was wearing a suede glove on the right hand, and was carrying another in the same hand. He examined the gloves and asked him how he came in possession of them. He replied "I bought them". He said to him "They answer the description of a pair of gloves stolen at Cheriton on the 15th April". He then cautioned him, and told him he should take him to the Police Station, where he would be detained for further enquiries. About 10-30 p.m. the same evening he went to No. 16, Queen’s Street, Chatham, where the prisoner resided with his married sister, Mary Green. He was in company with Det.-Insp. Galloway and Det.-Con. Gilham In consequence of what, he said to prisoner's sister, she handed him a hunch of keys and a flash-lamp from the prisoner's attache case The two Masonic medals were shown to him on a cistern in a lavatory at the rear of the premises by the prisoner's brothel in law, Edward Green. He took possession of the medals. The third Masonic medal was recovered by the Northtleet Police and handed to him.

Det.-Con. H. G. Gilham, stationed at Chatham, gave corroborative evidence.

Prisoner was then charged with breaking into the a dwelling-house of Mr. Edwin Turner, Risborough Lane, Cheriton, and stealing two wallets and a gold-filled watch, etc., of the value of £6 10s.

Edwin Turner, an Army pensioner, 180, Risborough Lane, said about 9.15 p m. on the 15th April, he went to bed, and left several articles, including a presentation gold watch, silver chain, and wallet containing Army documents on the kitchen dresser. He heard no noise whatever during the night. He woke about 9 o'clock on the 16th April. He went to tho dresser between 9.15 and 9.30, and in consequence of what lie discovered, he informed the police He valued the articles at £6 6s.

Catherine Turner, wife of the last witness, also gave evidence.

Dorothy Mary Turner, cashier, said about ten minutes past seven on the morning of the 17thy April, she came downstairs, and noticed that the back door was open. On the kitchen table she noticed two ornamental tins, with the lids off, but it did not strike her as unusual. The previous night about 11.30, she heard a ’bus stop. She then heard footsteps, and the door handle was turned. Her father was not in at the time, so she thought it was her father.

Sergt. Marsh, stationed at Cheriton, said shortly after B p.m. on the 16th April, in consequence of a communication received, he visited 180, Risborough Lane, Cheriton, where he found an entry had been made to the premises by the back door, it being insecurely fastened. A bolt, which was on the top of the door, appeared to he slightly out of a line with a slot in which the bolt should go.

Det.-Cons. Hawes, stationed at Chatham, said in consequence of information received, he went to 16, Queen’s Street, Chatham, where the suede glove (produced) was handed to him by the prisoner’s sister. A gold watch was handed to him by the prisoner’s sister-in-law arid a Morocco wallet was found on the prisoner when he was searched at the Police Station.

Det. Cons. Avery, said when he saw the prisoner detained at Chatham Police Station, he cautioned him and charged him with breaking and entering a dwelling house at of it 180, Risborough Lane, Cheriton during the night of the 15th and 16th April, and stealing therein a gold filled watch, a razor and case and two pocket wallets, of the value of £6 10s., the property of Edwin Turner. He made no reply. He conveyed him to the Seabrook Police Station, where he was again cautioned and charged by him (witness), and he replied "The papers which were in one the of the wallets I put in the hedge on the edge of the Menage". On the 19th April he the searched the spot indicated by the prisoner, and found the papers (produced), and also the razor case.

Prisoner was' then charged with breaking and entering the Victoria Hotel, Risborough Lane, Cheriton, during the night of April 15th and 16th, and stealing £6 in money, a silver-plated case, cigars and cigarettes, and other articles of the value of £6 15s, the property of Mr. P. Rivers.

Arthur Henry Alker, of the Victoria public house, a son-in-law of the licensee, Mr. Rivers, said on the 16th April about 10-20 p.m. he locked and secured the house. After finishing work in the bar, he had occasion to go into the lavatory about 10-30, and the window was closed. He did not hear anything during the night. The following morning, from a communication he received from Miss Fowler, he examined the till, and found it was empty The previous night there was something in the till. In the saloon bar, on the counter, was a half-pint glass, half-filled with beer, and a half-pint bottle of milk stout, both of which were not there when he went to bed. He noticed there were footmarks on the floor, and the dining room was in disorder. A parcel on a small table was undone, and a pencil was missing from a case. He discovered a pair of brown suede gloves were missing from his overcoat. He notified the police, and when he returned he found the lavatory window was wide open, and a pair of house-steps were against the wall outside. A brush find comb were lying on the ground outside, and which were on the ledge on the inside of the lodge the night before. There was £2 in each till the night before, and there were three tills. He identified a pencil, a glove, and the cigar box. The goods belonged to Mr. Rivers with the exception of the gloves; apart from the £6, the glove, pen and pencil he valued at 19s.

Mary Fowler, a barmaid at the Victoria public-house, said about 7 o’clock on the morning of the 16th April she went downstairs to let the painters in. Whilst she was undoing the door, two of the painters came through the dart-room door and said something to her. She had not opened the door previously. She then went back into the kitchen, and after that she went behind the bar and found the till open, and there was a penny or two halfpennies in that till. Overnight there had been £2 in it. There were three tills, and the same amount was left in each till, as change, overnight. She saw the other two tills were wide open.

Mary Green, the prisoner's sister, said the glove, pen and pencil, and two packets of Nosegay tobacco (produced) were given to her by the prisoner.

Det.-Con. George Hawes said in consequence of information received on the 17th April at 9.300 he saw the prisoner in Chatham wearing a brown suede glove on his right hand and carrying the other in the same hand. He told him he had bought them. He examined the gloves, and said they answered the description of a pair of suede gloves stolen at Cheriton on the 15th April. He cautioned the prisoner, and told him he would take him to the Police Station, where he would be detained for further enquiries. On the way to the Police Station the prisoner dropped the gloves, and the one produced was recovered by Det. Con. Gilham. At 10.30 p.m. the same evening he went to 16 Queen's Street, where he saw the prisoner's sister, who handed to him the pencil case, the pen, and a quantity of cigarettes, tobacco and cigars.

Det. Con Avery said at Chatham he charged the prisoner with breaking and entering the Victoria public-house, Cheriton, during the night of 15th and 16th April, and stealing therein £6 in money, a silver-plated pen, a silver-plated pencil, and a pair of suede gloves, and a quantity of cigars and cigarettes, of the total value of £6 15s. He made no reply. He conveyed him to Seabrook Police Station, where he again cautioned and charged him. He made no reply respecting that charge.

The prisoner, in answer to the Clerk, said he had nothing to say to the charge made if against him.

The Chairman, addressing the prisoner, said they had considered the case, and they thought it was a terrible thing that people could not be in their own house at night without having things taken. He would be committed to take his trial at the next Assizes.

 

Folkestone Herald 3 July 1926.

Kent Assizes.

At the Kent Assizes at Maidstone, Andrew Benedict Richards, 28, shoemaker, pleaded Guilty to breaking into the Victoria public house and other premises at Cheriton on April 15th and 16th, and stealing therein £6, cigars and cigarettes, and other articles, the property of Francis Rivers and another. Prisoner also pleaded Guilty to having committed perjury in his evidence at the West Kent Sessions at Maidstone on April 8th of this year.

The perjury charge arose in a case of shop-breaking at Chatham in which the police gave evidence that they actually saw accused in the shop. An alibi was set up by prisoner, and the Sessions jury acquitted him.

Three women who gave evidence in support of the alibi were also before the Assize Court charged with perjury.

Mr. Dickens said Richards broke into a public house at Hawkinge and stole from it 5s., and the next night he forcibly entered a public house at Cheriton, stole £6 and other small articles, including a pair of gloves, which he was wearing when arrested. He committed another burglary the same night at Cheriton, and stole a gold watch and a few other articles.

Superintendent Golding described Richards as a bad character, and read a list of his previous convictions, which began at the age of 11, when he was bound over at Rochester for the theft of a bicycle. At Rochester Quarter Sessions in 1915 he received two terms of three years (concurrent) for false pretences. He was called up in 1916 and went to France in the Royal Artillery. On his return in June, 1919, he deserted and was arrested for housebreaking, and additional charges were taken into account. He was in Canterbury prison when he received discharge from the Army, his military character being "bad", At Kent Assizes in February, 1921, he received two sentences of hard labour for shop-breaking. In October, 1922, he came out of prison, and in November was sent back for larceny. At West Kent Quarter Sessions in 1923 he received three years' penal servitude for housebreaking. On July 1st, 1925, he came out on licence and had done very little work since. Since his arrest he had assisted the police to recover some of the stolen property.

Prisoner, through his counsel, said he accepted full responsibility for the perjury; the women in no way benefitted by the evidence they gave.

Inspector Sarramore, of Chatham Division, stated that prisoner was found a situation by the police. He was out of work for a fortnight, and during that time police officers assisted him. They found him another job at £3 10s. a week, and whilst in that situation he committed the crime out of which the perjury charge arose.

Richards told the Judge that he played upon the affection of the women and got them to come forward and commit perjury.

His Lordship bound over the three women. He sent Richards to three years' penal servitude for the burglaries and to two days' (concurrent) for perjury. If he did not make a complete change, the Lord Chief Justice warned him, he would be tried as an habitual criminal.

 

Folkestone Herald 16 May 1931

Felix.

Of course we have been reminded if we needed reminding – of the "sailor" described as "valiant" standing isolated alone on the edge of the cliff on the Folkestone-Dover Road, and standing all these years four square to all the winds that blow, and hundreds of feet above the level of the sea. Of course, I am referring to the famous inn "The Valiant Sailor", owned by Mr. A.C. Aird as it was also by his father, the late Mr. W. Aird. Of course this particular "Sailor" is on the main road to Dover – six miles distant. Outside the establishment was at one time a toll house or turnpike gate. So rapid is the flight of time that the present generation can hardly realise that every horse and vehicle, besides droves of sheep and cattle, were compelled to pay toll before they could pass through the aforesaid gate or similar gates on the main roads. A carrier van, and an occasional horsed bus – that was all the communication that existed in those days, which many of us can recall. And so it comes about that our "Valiant Sailor" on Dover Hill has witnessed a revolution. He has seen the old gate abolished, a ten minute motor bus created between the two towns, whilst hundreds of motor vehicles pass by every day of the year. Here is progress if you like. I may be perhaps pardoned for mentioning it, that I made the first journey ever made from Folkestone to Dover on a motor vehicle named "The Pioneer". It was driven by Mr. Ernest Salter, motor engineer, and son of the late Alderman W. Salter, J.P., of Folkestone. Those of us who braved that journey, especially up Dover Hill, were proud of ourselves on that day. I often gaze on a photo which depicts the old "Pioneer" on its way to Dover. I could write a story – an exciting one, too – of an experience I had on this self-same "Pioneer" as it did a sprint down the famous Whitfield Hill. Space, however, just now forbids.

I am informed by the present proprietor, Mr. Alfred C. Aird (whom I have already mentioned) that the old inn alluded to was originally designated the "Jolly Sailor". Why its name was altered I cannot tell, and my friend, Mr. Aird, cannot throw any light on the subject. Certainly there is something very jolly associated with that word "Jolly". But from what I can gather from a volume that I have before me, there were certain people in other days that did not approve of it. Thus I read; "The use of the word "Jolly" on the signboards of various inns formerly so common in our now "Merrie England" is now gradually dying away. Whatever be the opinion on the subject of national good humour it seems people no longer desire to be advertised as jolly". Why object, for instance, to the "Jolly Britisher", the "Jolly Farmer", or the "Jolly Sailor"? What a funny world this is. It would seem then that in the Merrie England of those other days they had their killjoys with their sour faces and their canker of envy, malice, and uncharitableness ever gnawing at their hands. However, when we pause to think, the word "Valiant" is a very fine one.

 

Folkestone Herald 6 June 1931.

Felix.

With reference to a recent note appearing in this weekly contribution, and having reference to the approaching visit of H.M.S. Valiant, I mentioned the fact that the old Valiant Sailor had stood solitary these many years on the edge of the cliff on the Folkestone-Dover road. I also stated that the famous wayside hostelry was once known as The Jolly Sailor, but that its name, for some reason, was altered to the Valiant Sailor. Why, no-one appears to know. Mr. A.C. Aird, the present proprietor, since my paragraph appeared, has had an opportunity of looking up the deeds of the property with the result that he kindly informs me that the designation of the house was altered from "Jolly" to "Valiant" in 1826. Mr. Aird also states that he is unable to explain the change in the name. As he truly remarks he has always found the sailor to be both "Jolly" and "Valiant", and so either one fits in as well as the other. However this may be, our old friend declares that the same spirit prevails in the ranks of the 20th century sailors as it did in that of their forefathers when ships of war depended entirely on sail rather than coal and oil, and when navigation, too, depended alone on the compass and flag signals.

Folkestone Express 5 December 1931.

Local News.

A mysterious fire, which resulted in considerable damage to a motor car and garage, occurred on Friday evening at the Valiant Sailor Inn at the top of Dover Hill. Mr. A.C. Aird, the owner, had not long returned from Maidstone in his Austin saloon car, and had taken it into the garage adjoining the premises. When he left it everything was apparently in order.

Shortly before nine o'clock, however, the car was discovered to be on fire, and the Folkestone Fire Brigade were hastily summoned by telephone. The large motor tender and five men answered the call, and in view of the serious nature of the fire six men remained standing by at the Station. The Brigade, however, soon had the blaze under control, and extinguished it with the aid of chemicals, but not before the body of the car was extensively burnt and the rafters of the garage charred. The damage is estimated at over £50.

The cause of the fire is quite unknown, and Mr. Aird is at a loss to understand how it could have originated. It did not start from the engine or the chassis, for only the bodywork was damaged, and the owner states that he had not been smoking on the road from Maidstone and had not had a light in the car.

 

Folkestone Herald 5 December 1931.

Local News.

Mystery surrounds an outbreak of fire at the Valiant Sailor Inn on Dover Hill on Friday evening of last week, when a motor car and garage were extensively damaged.

Mr. A.C. Aird, the proprietor of the premises had placed his Austin car in a garage adjoining the premises earlier in the evening, on his return from Maidstone. At about nine o'clock the car was discovered to be on fire, and a telephone call was immediately put through to the Folkestone Fire Brigade, and a large motor tender and five men were sent.

The flames gained a strong hold of the car, and the rafters of the garage were burned before the Brigade extinguished the blaze by means of chemicals. The body of the car was completely destroyed, and the total damage is estimated at £50.

 

Folkestone Express 31 December 1932.

Local News.

Burglars were very busy at the Valiant Sailor public house on the Dover Road just outside the Folkestone boundary early on Wednesday morning.

Mr. A.C. Aird, the proprietor, did not retire to rest until nearly one o'clock after seeing that the premises were properly secured. Nothing was heard during the night to disturb any of the occupants of the house, but when Mr. Aird got up in the morning and entered his office he found that the contents of the room had been disarranged.

A sum of about £6 in money which had been placed in the room the previous night had disappeared.

Entry had been obtained by means of a window which had been forced.

 

Folkestone Herald 31 December 1932.

Local News.

Mr. A.C. Aird's residence, the Valiant Sailor, Dover Hill, was burgled in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

An entry was made into the office by cutting away a pane of glass and releasing the window catch. A thorough search was made of the room and £6 in silver and coppers taken.

Mr. Aird told the Herald that he heard nothing during the night.

 

Folkestone Herald 12 January 1935.

Local News.

The death occurred yesterday with tragic suddenness of Mr. John Hawkins, of Haseldene, Capel-le-Ferne, near Folkestone.

Mr. Hawkins, who was 64, was walking back to Mr. A.C. Aird's farm at the Valiant Sailor, after having been home for breakfast, when he suddenly collapsed at the side of the road.

Passengers in a passing bus on its way to Folkestone saw Mr. Hawkins stagger and fall, and after the bus had been stopped passengers went to his assistance. He was unconscious and an ambulance was summoned, but on arrival at the Royal Victoria Hospital it was found that Mr. Hawkins was already dead.

The deceased was head cowman to Mr. A.C. Aird, who told the Folkestone Herald yesterday afternoon that he could not speak too highly of him. "He had been employed on the farm since 1895", Mr. Aird said, "and the only occasion on which he had been absent from work during the whole of the time was a few days last year when he had influenza. He was a most conscientious worker, and I shall miss him very much".

Mr. Hawkins leaves a widow, a daughter, and two sons, one of whom is in the Royal Navy.

The facts of his death have been reported to the Folkestone Coroner (Mr. G.W. Haines) who will decide whether an inquest is necessary.

 

Folkestone Express 19 January 1935.

Local News.

On Friday Mr. John Hawkins, of Haseldene, Capel le Ferne, died with tragic suddenness.

Mr. Hawkins, who was 64 years of age, was in the employ of Mr. A.C. Aird, of the Valiant Sailor, as head cowman, had been home to have his breakfast. He was walking back to his work, and when on the main Folkestone-Dover road he collapsed. The passengers on a bus coming from Dover to Folkestone saw him lying in the road, and they went to his assistance. He was found to be unconscious, and he was rushed to the Royal Victoria Hospital, where on examination life was pronounced to be extinct.

Mr. Hawkins had been employed on the farm for forty years and was held in high esteem not only by Mr. Aird and his fellow workmen, but by everyone with whom he came in contact.

He leaves a widow, a daughter and two sons with whom the deepest sympathy will be felt in their sad and tragic bereavement.

The facts were communicated to the Folkestone Coroner (Mr. W.G. Haines), who did not deem an inquest to be necessary.

 

Folkestone Herald 6 August 1938.

Local News.

Television has come to Folkestone, and for the next week any member of the public who cares to visit the Tea Rooms of the Valiant Sailor is invited by Messrs. Bobby and Co., Ltd., to witness a free demonstration. These demonstrations will commence at 9 each evening, from tonight until the end of next week, excluding tomorrow.

For months Mr. S.W. Gittins, Radio Manager for Messrs. Bobby, with Mr. J. Sweatman, has been experimenting in television reception at the top of Dover Hill, and on Thursday afternoon the results of his work were demonstrated to a little group of people in the Tea Rooms of the Valiant Sailor.

The B.B.C. television programme was received on two Pye teleceivers, and the audience were able to sit back in their seats, as they would at a cinema, and see an excellent performance of J.B. Priestley’s play, "Laburnum Grove". Reception throughout was constant, the picture being unfading and of good strength. There was some local interference, caused by the temporal nature of the aerial, but Mr. Gittins expressed his great satisfaction with the results obtained. Mr. W.H. Storey, Radio Manager of Messrs. Pye, said he was amazed at the results obtained.

Unfortunately the aerial is on the wrong side of the road to obtain perfect results. The aerial, pointing direct to the transmitting station, must also point down the hill, and the disturbance caused by cars running up with their engines racing causes considerable interference at times.

A carrier wave, too, which Mr. Gittins announced, probably came from Hawkinge Aerodrome, also interfered with the picture, though only very occasionally. During the afternoon Mr. Gittins gave a brief resume of the progress made in television, its evolution and development, and made an interesting statement about the possibilities of reception in Folkestone.

"If we were 200 yards back off the road", he said, "or on the other side of the road, this interference would be reduced by 95 per cent. Forty to fifty per cent, of the residents of Folkestone, apart from those living in low-lying parts of the town, should be m a position to get television results. People living in the high parts of Saltwood, Hythe, and Folkestone, especially those on the Crete Road, at the western end of the Leas, in Earls Avenue, and in districts moderately quiet and high-lying, could be equipped with television and could expect first class results".

This was a local history-making occasion on Thursday afternoon, for this was the first satisfactory public demonstration of television to be given in Folkestone, There may be seen in the near future a small plate on the wall of the tea rooms of the Valiant Sailor, stating that good television reception was shown to the public for the first time in the town there. It may be possible, it was announced, for the public of Folkestone to see the last Test Match televised.

Those present at the demonstration included Mr. Herbert Bobby and Mr. Wilfred Bobby. Messrs. Bobby and Co. are willing to give advice to any person as to the possibility of reception in his locality.

 

Folkestone Herald 16 March 1946.

Adjourned Licensing Sessions.

A number of applications were granted at the Folkestone adjourned annual licensing sessions at the Town Hall on Wednesday. The Mayor (Alderman W. Hollands) presided, with Mr. R.G. Wood and Alderman J.W. Stainer.

Mr. B. H. Bonniface, representing Mr. W Eyres, licensee of the Valiant Sailor Inn, applied for a music and dancing licence in respect of the pavilion there. Mr. Bonniface said that when Mr. Aird was licensee it was quite a fashionable thing in Folkestone for people to go to the Valiant Sailor and have strawberry teas there in the summer months. The Pavilion had been inspected by the Borough Engineer and the chief of the fire service, and Mr. Eyres was prepared to carry out their recommendations, one of which referred to the exit. Continuing, Mr. Bonniface said there was a permanent military camp adjoining the premises. The soldiers were there for three or four weeks, and the Commanding Officer of the establishment was anxious to keep the young trainees under his own eye as much as possible. Mr. Eyres had been asked if the men could use his pavilion for dancing and as a place where they could bring their lady friends. Mr. Eyres, also, was anxious in the summer to provide teas in the pavilion and to arrange tea dances there. It was not intended to have a bar in the pavilion, although there was nothing to prevent the licensee from doing so. The Magistrates granted the licence from 2 p.m. until 1 a.m.

 

Folkestone Herald 22 June 1946.

Local News.

Windows and door in the vicinity of the Valiant Sailor, Dover Hill, when a heavy explosion occurred on the cliff at the top od Dover Hill on Wednesday afternoon. The explosion, which in the words of Mr. William Eyres, of the Valiant Sailor, sounded "just like a bomb going off", occurred when troops from a nearby Royal Artillery unti were engaged in clearing barbed wire. "My wife and I were hanging curtains in the tea pavilion", Mr. Eyres told a Herald reporter, "when suddenly a terrific bang made us duck just as we used to during the war. The door was blown off its hinges and several windows were blown in". The front window of a house 200 yards away from the scene of the explosion was smashed.

 

Folkestone Gazette 25 February 1953.

Local News.

A protection order was granted at Folkestone Magistrates' Court yesterday in respect of the transfer of the licence of the Valiant Sailor, from Mr. W.J. Eyers to Mr. A.B. Scott Ransford, of Dartford, who recently retired from the Colonial Service.

 

Folkestone Herald 13 February 1954.

Annual Licensing Sessions.

Plans for alterations at the Valiant Sailor were approved.

 

Folkestone Herald 12 February 1955.

Annual Licensing Sessions.

A music licence for a radio-gramophone at the Valiant Sailor was granted.

 

Folkestone Herald 23 April 1960.

Local News.

Accused of being in charge of his car while under the influence of drink, Ralph Stanley Lowe, of 6, Cherry Garden Avenue, Folkestone, was at Folkestone Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday sent for trial at Folkestone Quarter Sessions in July.

Mr. Ian Graham, prosecuting, said that police officers saw Lowe slumped over the driving wheel of a Hillman Husky car parked outside a row of shops in Dover Road, near the junction with Morrison Road, just before midnight on March 29th. The ignition key was in the vehicle and the officers formed the opinion that Lowe was under the influence of drink. Taken to Folkestone police station, Lowe said he had been drinking at the Valiant Sailor public house. He was unable to explain what he had been doing between 10.30 p.m. and the time he was found by the police.

Giving evidence of arrest, P.C. Percy Goreham said "I saw a man slumped over the steering wheel. As I approached the car a dog in the back began barking, but this did not rouse the man. I tapped on the glass window of the door and the man raised his head and wagged his finger at the dog. I saw the man had on his lap some fish and chip paper. I asked him if he was unwell and he made no reply. I asked him to lower the window, which he did. I asked him again if he was feeling unwell and he said "I go to sleep. I can't help it."". P.C. Goreham added that when Lowe got out of his car he was unsteady on his feet and his speech was slurred. "I told him that I was of the opinion that he was under the influence of alcohol", P.C. Goreham said, "and that I was taking him to Folkestone Police Station". He said "Why did you come that way?" At Folkestone police station, P.C. Goreham continued, he asked him if he had any documents relating to the car. Lowe replied "I would rather not say anything".

Dr. Derek Musselwhite said that when he examined Lowe at the police station he decided that he was under the influence of alcohol to such an extent as to be unable to be properly in charge of a car. During the examination Lowe was very quiet and was rather slow at answering questions. His tongue was furred and his breath smelt very strongly of alcohol. He was unsteady when standing on one leg and could not do a "knees bend" properly. He was fairly steady while walking and standing with his feet together, and was fairly accurate in touching the end of his nose with his finger with his eyes closed. The pupils of his eyes were normal.

P.S. Richard Grayling said that at the police station Lowe said "I just fell asleep. I am always doing it". Later he said "I must have been asleep there for an hour".

Mr. C.B. Croft, defending, said that the prosecution had put forward an extremely weak case against Lowe. He asked the Bench to find that there was no prima facie case against him. Commenting on the medical evidence, Mr. Croft said the fact that Lowe's tongue was furred was not very significant. Neither was the evidence that his breath smelt of alcohol; it did not mean that he had necessarily taken a lot of drink. Apart from being unable to do a "knees bend" and being unsteady on one leg – both fairly natural things in many people – Lowe seemed to have done well in all the usual tests.

The Magistrates decided that Lowe had a case to answer and committed him for trial.

 

Folkestone Herald 30 December 1967.

Local News.

Mr. Alan Basil Scott Ransford, licensee of the Valiant Sailor Inn, near Folkestone, collapsed and died at Folkestone Central railway station last week. He was 60. Mr. Ransford, who leaves a widow, was a native of Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire, but spent most of his childhood in Essex. He was educated at Dulwich College, and later went to Wye Agricultural College, where he obtained a degree in agriculture. He worked in the Colonial Service before becoming host at the Valiant Sailor Inn, almost 15 years ago.

A funeral service was held on Saturday at St. Luke’s, Hawkinge, followed by cremation at Hawkinge Crematorium.

 

Folkestone Gazette 13 May 1970.

Local News.

Cigarettes and spirits worth £80 were stolen by intruders who broke into the Valiant Sailor public house, Folkestone, on Saturday night.

 

Folkestone Herald 10 February 1973.

Local News.

Why was the name of the public house at the top of Dover Hill changed in 1820 from the Jolly Sailor to the Valiant Sailor? The question is asked by Mr. G. W. King, of Painters Forstal, Faversham, in the hope that somebody will be able to explain the intriguing change made more than 150 years ago.

Mr. King, who makes a study of English inn names, recently visited the Valiant Sailor. "It was built", he tells me, "in 1780 as both a farmhouse and inn and was originally known by the more usual title of The Jolly Sailor. The reason for the change of name appears to have been lost in the mists of time. The present licensee, Mrs. Flora Ransford, now a widow, who moved into the house with her late husband 20 years ago, told me that at the time there was a derelict cow shed in the farmyard, which now forms the inn’s car park. Until a few years earlier the house had been noted not only for its fine brew but for its very excellent strawberry and cream teas. Mr. Alf Aird, who was born in the house and retired from it 27 years ago, was unable to explain why the jolly sailor became a valiant sailor".

 

Folkestone Herald 8 May 1976.

Obituary.

One of Folkestone's best known sporting and charitable personalities has died, aged 89. Mr. Alfred Aird was known to many local people as a former landlord of the Valiant Sailor, at the top of Dover Hill.

Born and bred at the pub where his father was landlord, he took over as licensee in 1915. And for nearly 30 years, Mr. Alf Aird was a familiar figure behind the bar there. Being owner and landlord of a pub was strenuous enough, but it was only a small part of his life. Apart from running the Martello Dairy Farm, and tea gardens, Mr. Aird found time for many other voluntary activities and interests. He was a former committee member of Folkestone Football Club. A keen cricketer, he and several other Folkestone residents started the Folkestone cricket festival in 1926. As well as being a member of the Folkestone Cricket Club, Mr. Aird was also a member of the Kent County Cricket Club.

"His knowledge of the game was tremendous", his son Mr. Bill Aird told the Gazette on Thursday. "When Kent played Australia in 1899 he could remember every ball that was bowled".

The late Mr. Aird was one of a band of men who for many years helped to provide amenities at Folkestone’s Royal Victoria Hospital. He was a member of a fundraising group for charities - the Brotherhood of Cheerful Sparrows. He helped organise fetes, the biggest Folkestone has ever seen, and competitions for the Sparrows. In 1971 Mr. Aird moved from Folkestone to live with his son and daughter-in-law in Epsom. He later became ill and was moved to a nursing home in Harrietsham. He died in hospital at Maidstone, after injuries sustained in a fall.

Cremation will be at Barham on Monday. Mr. Aird leaves two sons, Mr. John and Bill Aird, and three grandchildren, Mrs. Jennifer Jolly, Miss Alison Aird and Miss Gillian Aird.

 

Folkestone Gazette 15 September 1976.

Local News.

It was "Last orders" for the last time on Tuesday night for Valiant Sailor landlady Mrs. Flora Ransford. After being at the hill-top pub for 24 years she pulled her last pint and bade a fond farewell to her regulars. There was a pleasant surprise for Mrs. Ransford when she was presented by Mrs. Emily Watkinson with a handsome clock bought by more than 20 Valiant Sailor regulars. And Mrs. Ransford – who became landlady nine years ago when her husband "Lofty" died – will take a special scroll signed by the regulars to her new home in Folkestone.

"I have had a very happy time here, and I would like to thank all my friends and customers for the support they have given me over the years", she said. "I have mixed feelings about leaving but I feel it is time I retired". Mrs. Ransford thanked her friends for the clock and the scroll. Mrs. Ransford, born in Sidcup, spent many years in Nigeria with her husband before he retired to England to take over the Valiant Sailor.

 

Folkestone Herald 31 May 1980.

Obituary.

Kate Knight, wife of pub landlord Mr. John Knight, has died. She was 66. The couple, who ran the Brewery Tap, in Tontine Street, Folkestone, for six years, moved to the Valiant Sailor, at the top of Dover Hill, Capel, three years ago.

Kate was a popular figure behind the bar and, with her husband John, made the Valiant Sailor a lively and friendly pub.

Publicans and regulars from the Brewery Tap and the Valiant Sailor turned out in force to pay their respects at the cremation service in Hawkinge last Friday. Her ashes will be scattered in St. Michael's Churchyard, Tenterden – the town where she was born.

Kate died at the pub, and her husband John said "It's the way she would have wanted to go, working and talking to people".

 

South Kent Gazette 6 August 1980.

Local News.

What are the connections between William Caxton and the Valiant Sailor? They are both names of Whitbread Fremlins pubs. And their respective landlady and landlord recently married at Ashford Registry Office. Bride and landlady of the William Caxton in Tenterden is Mrs. Joan Bowles. She has known the landlord of the Valiant Sailor, in Dover Road, Capel, Mr. John Knight, for ten years. Both were widowed, and will now live at the Valiant Sailor. Mrs. Bowles is giving up her pub in September. Mr. Knight has been in the licensing trade for about 20 years, spending the last ten in Folkestone. He and his late wife were at the Brewery Tap, Tontine Street, before taking over the Valiant Sailor four years ago. Mrs Bowles and her late husband moved to the William Caxton in 1970. She has spent 28 years in the trade and was widowed three years ago. All four were very good friends, who regularly met.

The week was marred when Mrs Bowles discovered thieves had stolen about £2,000 in takings and savings from her pub on Sunday evening.

 

South Kent Gazette 21 January 1981.

Local News.

Bacon butties and beer are definitely out. In, are mounds of fresh fruit and slimline oranges for four overweight darts players who are making an effort to shed some of those excess pounds. Regulars of the Valiant Sailor pub, Capel, Mick McGuiness, Alan Reed, Dave Roberts and John Griggs are fighting the flab with a sponsored slim. And while they lose flesh, they hope to gain cash for the Year of the Disabled fund. The battle began two weeks ago when the fleshy lads weighed in at between 14st. 5lb. and a massive 19st. On Friday evening, as they relaxed the stringent rules and enjoyed a pint - or three - their weights were between 13st. 13lb. and 18st. 4lb. With another painful four weeks to go, Mick, of Hollands Avenue, Folkestone, Alan, of Downs Road, Folkestone, Dave, of Harbour Way, Folkestone and John, of Hollands Avenue, all hope their sacrifices will prove fruitful and raise a fair amount of cash for the disabled.

 

South Kent Gazette 24 March 1982.

Local News.

Less than an hour after thieves ransacked a Capel pub flames ripped through the building, wrecking both bars. Fire experts claim that the blaze at the Valiant Sailor on Saturday was caused by an electrical fault. But police are still investigating the incident and are sure that other damage in the area is linked with it.

Landlord Mr. John Knight and his wife, Joan, were asleep when the fire started just below their bedroom, at about 3 am. Mr. Knight was woken up by smoke billowing into the room. He and his wife immediately left the building. Wearing nothing more than a nightgown, Mrs. Knight went to a nearby bungalow for help. Two fire appliances from Folkestone attended and firemen brought the blaze under control within 40 minutes. The electrical meter cupboard and ceilings were also severely damaged and the heat was so intense that pewter mugs hanging above the bar melted from their hooks. Mr. Knight, tired and upset, said "My wife and I are shattered. We never want to go through another fire again".

When police probed through the debris they found that cigarettes, spirits and cash for the tills, total value of £30, had been stolen. They suspect thieves made their way in through the toilets.

Mr. Knight, who has been landlord at the Valiant Sailor for five and a half years, said "This is the fourth break-in we’ve had since we have been here".

Windows of Houses in New Dover Road, Capel, were smashed just before the fire and burglary at the pub. Detective Inspector Bob McCaughan said "It is possible the incidents could be linked as they happened at roughly the same time".

The extent of the damage means the pub will be shut for some time. Now the village is without a pub at all since the nearby Royal Oak closed two weeks ago.

 

South Kent Gazette 15 June 1983.

Local News.

A former pub landlord was found dead in a pool of blood in a graveyard on Wednesday afternoon. Mr. John Knight, aged 63, was found by a resident of a nearby estate that backs on to St. Michael's Church, Tenterden.

On Friday his wife Joan said from the couple's home at Kingstone Court, Shorncliffe Road, Folkestone, he was a well-known and well-liked man around the town. Mr. Knight spent many years as a publican in Folkestone. Around 1971 he took over at the Brewery Tap in Tontine Street. He then moved to the Valiant Sailor, which he left nearly 18 months ago shortly after a fire wrecked the pub. For a year Mr. Knight took on the lease of the bar at Folkestone's Courtland Hotel.

Police are investigating his death and there is to be an inquest. A post mortem has been held but there are no suspicious circumstances.

Chairman of the Folkestone and District Licensed Victuallers' Association, Mr. Vic Batten, said he was shattered to hear the news. Mr. Batten, who runs the Jubilee pub, added "He was a well-known and a loyal member of the licensed trade". When Mr. Knight moved to the Capel pub a lot of his customers followed him even though it was out of their area, said Mr. Batten.

Fellow publican and friend of Mr. Knight, Mr. Stanley Dawkins, of the Ship, Folkestone, said "John was a great man, and his customers thought the world of him".

The funeral is likely to be in a few weeks' time.

 

Folkestone Herald 24 June 1983.

Local News.

The funeral of publican John Knight was held on Tuesday. Relatives and friends gathered to pay their last respects at St. Michael’s Church, Tenterden. It was at the church that Mr. Knight, 63, of Kingston Court, Shorncliffe Road, Folkestone, was found dead in a pool of blood two and a half weeks ago. Police are investigating his death and there is to be an inquest.

His widow, Joan, is distraught by his death. She said she would like to have a memorial service for him in Folkestone in about July. Mr. Knight spent many years as a publican in Folkestone. He took over the Brewery Tap in Tontine Street in 1971, later moving to the Valiant Sailor at Capel. He left there nearly 18 months ago shortly after a fire wrecked the pub, and for a year took on the lease of the bar at Folkestone’s Courtland Hotel.

 

South Kent Gazette 6 July 1983.

Inquest.

A former pub landlord badly in debt slashed his wrist and died on the grave of his two former wives. John Knight, aged 63, former landlord of the Valiant Sailor pub at Capel, killed himself at St. Michael's churchyard, Tenterden, late on June 7. His partly-clothed body was found in a pool of blood with his left wrist slashed. The rest of his bloodstained garments lay around him.

His third wife Joan told Coroner Mr. Ralph Vaughan she had no idea of his financial troubles. It was only after his death that she discovered he owed money to Whitbread brewery, the Inland Revenue, VAT authorities and his bank. Mrs. Knight told the inquest at Tenterden "He was a nervous man and would never worry me with unpleasant things. He never talked about his financial problems".

Mr. Knight's body was found by the grave, where his first two wives are buried by a resident of a nearby estate, Mr. Colin Roberts, who was putting potato peelings on a compost heap when he looked over his garden fence and saw the body. A police search uncovered a bloodstained razor blade between cigarette papers in Mr. Knight's jacket pocket.

Consultant pathologist, Dr. Noel Padley, said Mr. Knight died from lack of oxygen as a result of blood loss from his wrist. Dr. Padley said cuts above one eye and along the jaw were probably caused by Mr. Knight falling on some nearby barbed wire.

Mrs. Knight, of Shorncliffe Road, Folkestone, said her husband's manner was strange a week before she last saw him. He said he was going to visit his brother at Kingston, Surrey – the first time they had been separated in their three year marriage. Mr. Knight had been taking sleeping pills and showed her how to deal with the boiler, a task he always did. "I think he was preparing for his death", she said.

A few months before the couple left the Valiant Sailor last May, a fire wrecked the bars. Mrs. Knight said this disturbed her husband greatly and he would wake up some time afterwards saying he could smell smoke.

Mr. Vaughan's verdict was Mr. Knight took his life while the balance of his mind was disturbed.

Mrs. Knight said her husband was a kind and caring man. He always played Father Christmas for the children of Capel and would help anyone in trouble.

Before taking on the licence of the Valiant Sailor Mr. Knight used to run the Brewery Tap in Tontine Street, Folkestone. After leaving the Capel pub he had the lease of the bar at Folkestone's Courtland Hotel for a year.

Mrs. Knight plans to hold a memorial service for her husband in Folkestone in a few weeks.

 

Folkestone Herald 17 July 1992.

Local News.

Customers and staff at the Valiant Sailor pub, Capel, raised £350 for the Telethon in a 24 hour bar billiards tournament.

 

Folkestone Herald 5 August 1993.

Local News.

Thieves stole a 12 foot bouncy castle from a pub in Capel. They crept into the garden of the Valiant Sailor at the top of Dover Hill and swiped the massive multi-coloured inflatable. Bob Allen, assistant manager, said "It happened overnight and nobody heard a thing. It's pretty sickening. Parents used to like coming here because they could leave their kids to play while they had a quiet drink. I don't know if we'll be able to afford to replace it. Our budget is only so big". The castle had the name of the pub written in capital blue letters on its archway. The thieves also took an air compressor, and both items have a total value of £1,000. Mr. Allen said "We're offering a reward of a family meal for four for any information which will get the castle returned to us. It will probably turn up at a boot fair somewhere. It won't be sold to another Valiant Sailor pub, because we're the only one in the country with that name".

 

Folkestone Herald 24 November 1994.

Local News.

Burglars stole £200 from a fruit machine at the Valiant Sailor pub, Capel.

 

Folkestone Herald 4 May 1995.

Local News.

A pub landlady was attacked and robbed as she got into her car outside her own pub. A youth ran up to Elaine Burlingham, 39, in the car park of the Valiant Sailor pub in Old Dover Road, Capel, and stole £3,000. Mrs. Burlingham was not injured, but the man escaped with the money, believed to be the weekend's takings. He is described as between 18 and 20, with short brown hair. He was wearing blue jeans, a navy sweatshirt and dark-coloured trainers.

Note: No mention of Burlingham in More Bastions.

 

Folkestone Herald 24 October 1996.

Local News.

Pub punters made the most of special booze bargains this week as part of a protest against "unfair" tax rules. It was the latest move in a campaign to get Chancellor Kenneth Clarke to cut alcohol duty rates so they are on a par with Continental traders. Trafalgar Day, on Monday, - anniversary of Nelson's famous sea victory – was marked by hundreds of pubs cutting the price of a pint by 26p – the difference in duty paid by British and French tipplers.

Ian Coote, of brewery giants, Whitbread, said "This was a colourful way of making a very serious point. More than 1.1 million pints of cheap French beer are being brought into the U.K. every day. It's resulting in the closure of local pubs, landlords and bar staff being thrown on the dole, while gangs of bootleggers peddle cheap beer on our streets".

The Valiant Sailor, at the top of Dover Hill, Folkestone, was one of the pubs which took part in the protest. Staff wore special Admiral Nelson hats and handed out "Axe the Tax" stickers. But supervisor Emma Dunn-Beeching said "Most people were just interested in the cheap drink. The regulars certainly enjoyed it!"

 

Folkestone Herald 29 May 1997.

Local News.

A postcard-writing runaway teddy bear is still at large and believed to be living it up in Hemel Hempstead in Hertfordshire.

Julia Collins, manageress of the Valiant Sailor pub, Capel, was shocked to find that the cuddly Rupert Bear, given to the pub to help raise money for charity, had gone missing. But she was even more amazed when she received a postcard from the bear explaining that he was so fed up with waiting to be won that he had decided to go on holiday. An astounded Miss Collins told the Herald "I just couldn't believe it when Rupert disappeared and then started writing us letters. We have received pictures of his adventure and believe him to be in the Hemel Hempstead area – but we have our suspicions as to who helped Rupert escape, and are now well on our way to tracking him down". Miss Collins and her partner David Lewis are being helped on their "Where's Rupert?" quest by all the pub regulars – including a police detective – and have even set up a telephone hotline to encourage people to come forward with information. She said "We are determined to find him and are even offering a reward for his safe return. The money we are collecting for Rupert is for the Muscular Dystrophy charity and so we hope he'll come home of his own free will soon. If not, we have a few ideas up our sleeve".

If Rupert fails to materialise, Julie and David have said they may be forced to send their secret weapon to fetch the wandering bear – Rupert's best friend Bill the Badger!

The pub landlady explained; "We found Bill in a shop the other day and thought he would be the perfect person to bring Rupert home and so we will be sending pictures of Bill on the trail to the people we suspect helped Rupert escape".

Anyone with any information about Rupert's whereabouts can contact the Lost bear hotline on (01303) 252401.

 

Kindly sent from the Folkestone Research and Archaeology Group. November 2021.

Valiant Sailor Dig.

The Valiant Sailor public house is located at the top of Dover Hill, Folkestone, at the intersection of the ancient trackway along Creteway Down and the road from Folkestone to Dover. There has been a pub here since at least 1689, when the first detailed map of the area shows a pub on the same site. In about 1730, the road was made into a turnpike and a toll booth was erected opposite the pub. The toll both was in operation until at least the arrival of the railways, in 1843 and the building survived until around 1930.

A detailed personal account of the pub, written by Bill Aird in 1987, indicates that it was run by the his family for 99 years. During the 19th Century, a dairy farm was added and occupied much of the site to the East and South of the pub. The whole of the cliff top was militarised during the Second World War, when numerous concrete structures were built for a shore battery, but the Valiant Sailor itself remained as it was, apart from the erection of a barbed wire entanglement and road block.

The presence of the Roman villa, on Folkestone's East Cliff, an Anglo-Saxon cemetery on Dover Hill and the Neolithic enclosure on Creteway Down all suggest that a site at the top of the hill and at the junction of the two routes might hold some valuable clues. This excavation was intended to investigate what activity, if any, might have taken place on the site prior to the construction of the pub. The area chosen for the test pits was the back garden of the pub, where there did not appear to be any structures on any of the older maps.

The test pits.

Five test pits were excavated, at various locations in the garden and of various sizes. The first was 3m x 2m and was roughly in the middle of the lawn, followed by a series of 1m x 1m pits to the South West and North of the first and a 2m x 1m pit adjacent to the boundary wall, next to the kitchen. A 1m x 1m pit started in the south corner revealed a block of concrete which almost entirely covered the base of the pit, at a depth of only 10 - 20 cm and was consequently abandoned and not included in the total of pits excavated.

The south end of the garden is higher than that closer to the pub, with a similar difference in the level of the ground across the entire site, running parallel with the boundary to Dover Road. This difference is accounted for by dumping of demolition rubble, probably from the old stable block and other buildings. Whilst there were minor differences in finds and inclusions, the overall soil types were fairly consistent across the series of pits: a topsoil, consisting of modern dumped deposits, a modern garden soil, an 18th - 19th Century garden soil, and a series of progressively paler sands, with occasional ironstone and flints.

The first context, roughly 20-30cm thick, consisted of a dumped deposit of dark brown sand, with a little humus and clay and copious broken brick and tile, concrete and broken crockery, as well as redeposited 19th Century clay pipe and glass fragments. The next context was a similar sandy deposit, of about the same thickness, and comprised garden soil with construction debris, mixed modern and 19th Century crockery and glass.

A third context consisted of grey-brown, sandy garden soil, with no modern debris. Large numbers of clay pipe fragments and several complete bowls indicate a date range consistent with the age of the pub: early 18th - late 19th century. There were also large numbers of pottery fragments, again with a similar age range. Surprisingly, perhaps, there were no complete bottles, so the refuse tip must have been somewhere else and the collection service efficient.

Clay Pipes

Below these garden soils, the evidence of occupation became very sparse. The soil is almost pure sand, representing the wind-blown Eocene Loess, which occurs to varying depths on top of the chalk. This sand is yellow or orange closer to the surface and becomes paler with depth, as well as gaining a very fine clay component at a depth of 1.5 - 2.0 metres.

A cobbled surface, consisting of well-compacted yellow sand and ironstone fragments, with occasional flint, suggests a trackway, running roughly North-West - South-East. Coincidentally, perhaps, this aligns with an old field boundary on the adjacent farmland, at Hope Farm, on the opposite side of Dover Road. This trackway appears to have been in use for some considerable time, as it has been built up and re-surfaced with iron-stone, flint and even the occasional piece of brick, in its final phase of use, probably in the 18th or 19th Century.

The trackway appeared in several of the trenches on the site, but no useful dating evidence was found for its earliest phases. A number of struck flint flakes, including a core and one possible tool, were found, but these are almost impossible to date. The flint is black, which suggests that it is late: possibly Iron Age or even mediaeval. Three sherds of mediaeval green-glazed pottery were also found, but these were re-deposited in a 19th Century garden soil. A collection of burnt ironstone next to the trackway, in the pit closest to the kitchen (i.e. in the NW corner of the garden), hints at possible processing of the ironstone, but, without further evidence, this is conjecture.

Two burials were found: one of a cat (pictured below), the other of a dog. The cat burial was in the 19th Century garden soil and included fragments of clay pipe and pottery. The cat was probably a young adult and appeared to have been in good health, with no obvious signs of disease or trauma on the bones, nearly all of which survived. The cat was reburied in the same position and in the same hole, at the same depth.

Car burial

The dog, which was buried much more recently, in a wooden box, had not fared so well. There was almost nothing left of the skull, the spine or the tail. The long bones of the legs were in some cases spongy, but otherwise intact and the metatarsals and tarsals were, for the most part, present, as were the teeth. The patch of ground where the dog had been buried had degenerated into a rubbish tip and rats had burrowed repeatedly through the soil. The wooden box, in which it was buried, was evidenced only by the presence of iron nails and small fragments of wood, as well as a root, which had grown around one corner of the box, before it rotted away. Two rubber or plastic balls were buried with the dog, thus suggesting a very recent date for the burial.

Summary.

As disappointing as it may seem at first glance, the dig did serve its purpose: There is no significant evidence of occupation immediately to the rear of the Valiant Sailor before the 18th Century. Apart from the three sherds of green-glazed mediaeval pottery and one of flint-tempered ware (Iron Age or Norman?), two joining sherds of Terra nigra were also found in one trench, but all of these were re-deposited in garden soil. One copper alloy buckle was found, probably of 18th Century date.

Flint-tempered ware

Above photo showing Flint-tempered ware.

The trackway of compacted sand and ironstone may have served as a route to/from a structure now lost to erosion, as the cliff has undoubtedly receded many hundreds of metres over the past two millennia. A Roman route from Folkestone to Dover may have existed to the South of the site, but the existing roadway is likely to be much more recent, dating from the mediaeval period or later. Further excavation is planned for next year, to establish the exact width of the trackway, as the western edge was not clearly defined by any of the trenches. An investigation of the toll booth site, on the northern side of Dover Road, may prove more fruitful.

Contact us through our Website at www.folkarch.co.uk or email us at info@folkarch.co.uk

 

LICENSEE LIST

MILLS/MILES James 1841+ (Victualler age 35 in 1841Census) (Little Hope)

BERRY/BURY George 1841+ (age 59 in 1841Census)

KITHAM Richard 1845-72 (May/78 dec'd) (also farmer age 60 in 1871Census) Melville's 1858Post Office Directory 1862Post Office Directory 1874Bastions

KITHAM M Mrs 1872-76 Bastions

AIRD William 1881-Apr/1915 dec'd (also farmer age 69 in 1911Census) Dover ExpressPost Office Directory 1882Post Office Directory 1891Kelly's 1899Post Office Directory 1903Kelly's 1903Post Office Directory 1913Bastions

AIRD Alfred Charles Apr/1915-45 Post Office Directory 1922Kelly's 1934Post Office Directory 1938Bastions the Aird's reputed to have been there for 68 years. That makes them till 1949.

EYRES William 1945-53 Bastions

RANSFORD Alan 1953-68 Bastions

RANSFORD Flora 1968-76 Bastions

Last pub licensee had KNIGHT John 1976+

CARRUTHERS Alex  & Last pub licensee had KNIGHT Gordon 1982-87 Bastions

LANGHORNE Michael & MUIR John 1987-88 Bastions

HESPE David & MUIR John Next pub licensee had 1988-91 Bastions

COWLING Paul & McNEIL Stephen 1991-92 Bastions

MATTHEWS David Next pub licensee had & McNEIL Stephen 1992-93 Bastions

WILSON Andrew & McNEIL Stephen 1993 Bastions

WILSON Andrew & CAMPION Malcolm 1993 Bastions

O'HALLORAN Esther & BARNETT Ian 1993-94 Bastions

O'HALLORAN Esther & GREGG George 1994-95 Bastions

BURLINGHAM Elaine 1995 Bastions

SEWELL Laura & LEWIS David 1995-98 Bastions

LEWIS David & PORTER William 1998-2004 Bastions

William Porter Also Harbour Inn 1998-2001

MEAD Bernard 2004 Bastions

Last pub licensee had MORRIS David 2004 2004 Bastions

HEARNE Steve 2007+

JACKSON Dennis 2011+

CROSS Matt ???? Next pub licensee had

Last pub licensee had TOWNSEND John & Michael (son) 3/Oct/2014+

LOWE Emma 2019+

 

Melville's 1858From Melville's Directory 1858

Post Office Directory 1862From the Post Office Directory 1862

Post Office Directory 1874From the Post Office Directory 1874

Post Office Directory 1882From the Post Office Directory 1882

Post Office Directory 1891From the Post Office Directory 1891

Kelly's 1899From the Kelly's Directory 1899

Post Office Directory 1903From the Post Office Directory 1903

Kelly's 1903From the Kelly's Directory 1903

Post Office Directory 1922From the Post Office Directory 1922

Kelly's 1934From the Kelly's Directory 1934

Post Office Directory 1938From the Post Office Directory 1938

Dover ExpressFrom the Dover Express

CensusCensus

BastionsFrom More Bastions of the Bar by Easdown and Rooney

 

If anyone should have any further information, or indeed any pictures or photographs of the above licensed premises, please email:-

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